Becoming Knights

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 1:04 PM
Category: Athletics

Macon, GA

The consolidation of Middle Georgia College and Macon State College kicked off a process of combining two distinctive athletics programs into the Middle Georgia State College Knights.

Before the consolidation, Macon State was home to Blue Storm club sports, while Middle Georgia College was home to the varsity athletics Warriors. Macon State’s club sports included baseball, men and women’s basketball, cheer club, dance club and football club, among others. Middle Georgia College’s varsity athletics included six teams: baseball, softball, men’s and women’s soccer, and men’s and women’s basketball.

Now, Knights are coming in both varsity athletics and club sports.

The next step is for Middle Georgia State to seek permission from the Board of Regents to begin the application process to transfer from the National Junior College Athletic Association to a larger conference, such as the Southern States Athletic Conference or the Appalachian Athletic Conference, and then the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. With membership in the NAIA, the Knights would be eligible to compete on a national level. If all goes as planned, the Knights could begin competing in the NAIA in fall 2014.

Admittance into a larger conference would reflect the growing number of students at the new consolidated institution, said Charles Mullis, director of Student Recreation and Athletics. “Being placed in a new conference will give us much greater visibility, and we will be able to compete with bigger schools, where we belong.”

A big step in the Knights transition came this spring, when Middle Georgia State created intercollegiate men’s and women’s tennis teams and began signing players out of high school.
“We have several high quality high school tennis teams in the area, but until now students had to leave to find college opportunities,” Mullis said. “We are very excited to serve the needs of these athletes.”

Due to bylaws established by the NJCAA, schools with varsity athletics are not allowed to have duplicate varsity and club sports teams, so Middle Georgia State’s club baseball, softball and basketball teams end after spring semester 2013. However, club sports such as rugby and bass fishing will remain, and students from all campuses can participate. The football club team will remain but be based at the Cochran Campus this fall.

James Hagler, associate director of Recreation and Athletics, said the transition to the Knights will be beneficial for students. “There will be more things for students to do outside of the classroom,” he said.

Cole Thompson, a freshman on the Warrior baseball team, said he is looking forward to becoming a Knight. The transition “will bring more opportunities for students in athletics.”

Caitlin Greer, a freshman on the Warrior softball team, said the transitioning into the Knights is a new beginning. “It will be awesome for more athletes to come to the Cochran Campus,” she said. “We all hang out and support each other, so more athletes will be a good thing.”

A version of this article originally appeared in the spring 2013 issue of Middle Georgia State Today.