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Sierra Nevada College to join NAIA, add sports programs

Staff report

Clash of rivals

The Sierra Nevada College men’s lacrosse team will compete against rival University of Nevada, Reno, at North Tahoe Regional Park this Saturday at 2 p.m. SNC is ranked 17th in the nation in the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA), while UNR is ranked 19th and undefeated. The game marks the final contest of the regular season, with the winner advancing to the postseason as the No. 1 seed.

Sierra Nevada College athletics took a significant step forward last week.

The Incline Village college — already a dominant force in skiing and snowboarding — became an associate member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), joining Benedictine University at Mesa (Ariz.) and Providence Christian College (Calif.).

Three other colleges, Governors State University (Ill.), Multnomah University (Ore.) and Ohio Christian University, were approved as active members of the NAIA at its annual conference.

“One of the reasons that we felt that the NAIA was such a good fit for us is that it focuses on academic achievement and on the character development of student-athletes through its Champions of Character program,” said Shannon Beets, Sierra Nevada College (SNC) interim president and provost.

“This program emphasizes adherence to the core values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership — all very important to the culture that we want our athletic programs to exhibit.”

Sierra Nevada College also announced that it will add more sports programs, starting with men’s and women’s golf, cross-country and soccer in the 2015-2016 school year.

Soccer coaches have already been hired, while the college is interviewing potential coaches for cross-country and golf.

The Eagles will begin their first season of NAIA soccer with Christian DeLeón, two-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Nevada State Coach of the Year, heading the women’s team. NCAA veteran Jim Barlow will lead the men’s team.

SNC’s nationally dominant alpine, freeski and snowboarding teams, meanwhile, will continue to compete in the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA).

In 2013, the college launched men’s and women’s lacrosse programs. The men play in the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) and compete against the teams in the Western Collegiate Lacrosse League (WCLL). The women play in the Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse Associates (WCLA) as a full member of Division 2 North of the Western Women’s Lacrosse League (WWLL).


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