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franklin county times

Cross-country program returns to NW-SCC

Northwest-Shoals Community College athletic director Taylor Franks announced this past week that the college will add men and women’s cross-country teams for the 2023 fall semester.

Franks said the addition of the cross-country teams should allow many talented runners in the area the opportunity to compete without leaving home. “We have so many successful high school runners and programs in this part of the state,” said Franks. “We look forward to having them compete for championships on the collegiate level with the Patriots.”

Tharptown cross-country coach Joseph Brown is a 2010 graduate of NW-SCC and has built a successful team for the Wildcats. Brown has had three runners offered cross-country scholarships, and one accepted last year to Calhoun Community College.

“I believe the return of cross-country programs to Northwest-Shoals will prove to be a great opportunity to many of our local runners,” said Brown. “We have had several talented runners in our area over recent years who have possibly missed the chance to continue their competitive careers at the collegiate level. These programs are another avenue that might allow them to extend their academic as well as athletic careers.”

Belgreen cross-country coach Colby Cox echoed Brown’s sentiments. “It is great to see these opportunities provided for the XC athletes in our area. To have the chance to continue their education and participate in the sport that they love close to home means a lot ,” said Cox, who played a season of baseball at Northwest-Shoals and graduated with his associate’s degree in 1996.

Patriot cross-country teams will join other Alabama Community College schools in competing under the umbrella of the Alabama Community College Conference, which is headed by Commissioner Dean Myrick.

“It has been amazing to see the excitement at our college and in the community from bringing back athletics last year,” said NW-SCC President Dr. Jeff Goodwin. “We said more athletic teams would be coming, and we are pleased to announce the addition of men and women’s cross-country teams.”

Goodwin said the school received official notification from the National Junior College Athletic Association and the ACCC Alabama Community College Conference earlier this month.

The Patriots last fielded a women’s cross country team in 2000 and men’s team in 2008.

The college will begin the search process for one coach to head both teams.