(KJCCC) The Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) is happy to announce the addition of a new member. Northwest Kansas Technical College, a two-year technical college located in Goodland, Kansas, has joined the conference, starting competition in the 2017-18. Northwest has been competing against KJCCC schools in the post-season of NJCAA Region VI, but now will have a full slate of conference games during the regular season.
"As president of the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference I want to welcome Northwest Kansas Technical College as the newest member to the conference," Dr. Michael Calvert said. "President Schears and athletic director Brad Bergsma made a compelling case to join the KJCCC to our council of presidents in March, and then were officially voted into the KJCCC on April 20 at the spring conference meeting. The conference schools are excited to now have twenty members. The KJCCC is one of the nation's premier junior college conferences. Northwest Tech will help add further prestige to the league. I personally am excited to have them in the KJCCC."
In 2017-18 Northwest Tech will compete in the conference in cross country, softball, indoor and outdoor track and field, golf, soccer, and wrestling. Athletes competing for Northwest Tech will also be eligible for All-Conference honors. Northwest Tech will become a full member in 2018-19 with the addition of competition in the sports of men's and women's basketball.
KJCCC commissioner Bryce Roderick is excited for the expansion of the conference.
"The addition of Northwest Tech as a member of the KJCCC is a positive development," Roderick said. "It gives the KJCCC colleges an opportunity to play Northwest Tech during the regular season, and it gives Northwest Tech a full schedule of conference games."
Northwest Tech began athletics in 2010 with a wrestling team which competed at the NJCAA Division 1 level. They have since expanded to 10 athletic programs. Since the inception of athletics in 2010, Northwest Tech has competed as an independent and unattached athletic program.
President Ben Schears sees the move to the KJCCC as a reaffirmation of Northwest Tech's Kansas roots.
"We're excited to have the opportunity to join the Jayhawk Conference as full members," President Schears said. "It's one of the most competitive JUCO conferences in the country and we're looking forward to contributing to that success. We are a Kansas college and want to participate in competition within the state."
As an unattached school, any given year saw Northwest Tech competing against teams in several different states. By joining the KJCCC, Northwest Tech's travel is greatly reduced. At the same time, inclusion allows them to showcase the Goodland community to the KJCCC members.
Athletics director Brad Bergsma looks forward to competition between the programs at Northwest Tech and the rest of the KJCCC.
"We are excited for the opportunity to compete in one of the strongest conferences in the country and bringing some of the best teams and athletes to Goodland," Bergsma said. "We think this is a great chance to expand the footprint of the Jayhawk Conference brand. With our proximity to Denver, coaches and fans from all over the country will be able to view the elite talent that the KJCCC has to offer."