Thomas Nelson Community College will expand its National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) membership to include women’s basketball next year. The College’s baseball team became its first NJCAA-member sport last year with a move to Region 10, Division III. The Lady Gators will be part of the same D-III region.
Acknowledging its two NJCAA teams, Thomas Nelson will host a Signing Day ceremony Wednesday, June 28 at 3 p.m. in Moore Hall’s Espada Room at the Hampton campus.
Athletics and Intramurals Coordinator Chad Smith said the Gators will welcome eight new baseball players and three new Lady Gators. The student athletes represent various cities throughout Virginia including Hampton, Newport News, Chesapeake, Woodbridge, Highland Springs, Henrico, Virginia Beach and more.
Smith said Thomas Nelson’s NJCAA membership is a great benefit as it raises the College’s profile and that of student athletes. Having operated as a club team for several years, the baseball team had several notable moments this season under first-year head coach Mike Moore. The Gators defeated the Apprentice School for the first time, entered its first post-season NJCAA competition as a fourth seed and won its first regional tournament advancing to the semi-finals.
Additionally, the team’s catcher of two years, Robert “Robbie" Edwards, was named to the NJCAA Division III All-Region10 first team and was selected as a NJCAA D-III second-team All-American catcher. This marked the 2017 Thomas Nelson graduate’s second consecutive year earning first team honors. Roberts is a Kecoughtan High School graduate and is bound for Roanoke College.
Thomas Nelson provides non-NJCAA-member intramural and intercollegiate sports including men’s basketball and cheerleading.