Pratt Community College now part of four-way NJCAA tennis group
Many would not know it, but Pratt Community College’s last team championship took place in 1961, when the men’s tennis program was still in tact. After institutional deliberations, Pratt Community College has annonuced that tennis will be reinstated as an officially sanctioned sport in the fall of this year, welcoming new coach Jeret Johnson to the helm.
“We are very excited to bring back the sport of men’s and women’s tennis to Pratt Community College,” said school president Dr. Michael Calvert. “The community of Pratt has a strong tradition of producing outstanding tennis players. By re-adding tennis, those students will have the opportunity to compete locally. In addition, there are many other strong programs in the state of Kansas of which we can recruit talent from. There is also financial support pledged in order to supplement operations and to help fund scholarships for the program.
“I want to thank the PCC Board of Trustees for their confidence that PCC can have a successful program and very much appreciate their support.”
Athletic director Tim Swartzendruber said the school is well equipped to handle the addition of both men’s and women’s tennis before the start of the 2021-22 school year. “The city of Pratt has upgraded the tennis facility to now have 10 courts, and with the Blythe Center, we have access to indoor courts which is very positive for a tennis program,” said Swartzendruber. “The community of Pratt is supportive of us adding the sport and we feel as an institution it would be positive to bring in additional student-athletes.”
At this current juncture, Pratt Community College and its leadership believe the growth from 10 to 12 NJCAA-sanctioned programs will benefit the school in more ways than one.
“PCC is always looking to add programs, activities or sports that could increase enrollment and provide opportunities for students,” said Dr. Calvert. “Tennis players tend to be good students and therefore succeed academically. Two of PCC’s institutional aims are student success and enrollment stability. The addition of tennis will contribute to both of these aims.”
“I’m excited to add tennis to our sports programs,” said Swartzendruber. “With PCC adding tennis, we will have four schools in the conference that offer tennis.”
Now, along with Seward County, Cowley County, and Barton, PCC will be one of four schools in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference that offers tennis.