Barton College will add two new intercollegiate sports during the 2016-17 academic year, according to Athletic Director Todd Wilkinson. Wilkinson said a lacrosse team will be strictly women’s lacrosse while there will be both men and women’s swim teams.
The increase of funding is not of concern. Instead, there is hope that these added sports will increase enrollment here at Barton College.
The first season of the women’s lacrosse team will start in the school year of 2016-2017. The sport will be played on Barton’s soccer field at the athletic complex located on North Kincaid Avenue.
When asked about recruitment, Todd Wilkinson stated, “We have a number of about 20 women’s lacrosse players we would like to have the first year. It may be kind of ambitious. I don’t know if we can get there, but we’ll see.”
Students already attending Barton College will have the opportunity to try out to help meet this goal. Brit Kadlowec, U.S. Lacrosse district rated official, has been chosen to be Barton College’s first head coach. Currently there are nine other league members–Mount Olive, Limestone, Converse, Belmont Abbey, Lees-McRae, Pfeiffer, Erskine, Emmanuel, and North Greenville. Next year there will be 10 with Chowan University.
Freshman Kasey Winstead expressed her delight towards the new women’s lacrosse team. “I have always been interested in lacrosse, so it was a real downer to find out that Barton did not have a team. I’m glad that I now have the opportunity to try out and maybe even be recruited.” Winstead showed her interest by meeting with Wilkinson in his office to find out more information about the team. She was given information and told to talk to the new coach about conditioning.
Another freshman, Kristina Friel was also excited about the idea of a lacrosse team. “I used to play lacrosse with my friends when I lived in Indiana. It will be cool to have a piece of my home town here at Barton College.” Kristina also met with Todd Wilkinson to find out more about the teams. “It’s good to see that people are interested in joining.” Wilkinson stated.
Both swim teams will start in the 2016-2017 school year. They will be practiced in Barton’s Kennedy Recreation and Intramural Center (KRIC) in a 25-yard-long, six-lane pool. Barton will partner with the Harrison Family YMCA in Rocky Mount, N.C., and that is where they will host competitive meets.
Barton College has announced Tyler Ziegler, the first ever swim coach at Barton College, on February 17th. Tyler Ziegler came to Barton from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. where he completed his master’s degree in general management. He was a graduate assistant for men’s and women’s teams while working on his degree. He also has a bachelor’s degree in sports management and swam for four years at York College of Pennsylvania.
Ziegler is expecting to sign 15 men and women to the teams for the first season in the fall. The programs will later be enlarged and more students will be able to join. The ratio of new students to old students that will be able to join the team will be up to Ziegler.
Being that swimming is not offered in Conference Carolinas, Barton College swim teams have applied for the Blue Grass Mountain Conference. The teams will compete against schools in the southwest region.
By Haley Bolton