Wharton County Junior College’s volleyball and baseball teams will not compete this fall due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) announced on July 13 that all close-contact sports played in the fall will now be shifted to Spring 2021 due to concerns over student safety related to the virus.

“WCJC has a fine athletic tradition and sports are an important part of the college’s culture, but the health and wellbeing of our athletes and coaches remains a top priority,” said WCJC President Betty McCrohan. “We plan to follow the NJCAA’s guidelines to keep our teams as safe as possible.”

The Pioneers’ volleyball team usually competes in the fall but must now postpone their season. The college’s baseball team already competes in the spring, but will cancel its fall scrimmage schedule.

Both teams will utilize the fall semester for practices while opting out of competition with other schools, WCJC Athletic Director Keith Case said.

“This of course, is going to be a huge adjustment for us all,” WCJC Volleyball Coach Brianna Janecka said. “There are still a lot of unknowns as far as what is to be expected in the future but we just need to remain hopeful and ready for what’s thrown our way.”

This year playing for the Pioneers volleyball team are two Wharton County athletes in Tori Arrington of Boling and Ataya Watkins of Wharton. El Campo’s Megan Rek who’ll be playing in Blinn this year is also affected by the NJCAA ruling.

WCJC’s rodeo team normally competes in both the fall and the spring. Whether the team will go ahead with competition this fall has not yet been decided. The WCJC rodeo team falls under the auspices of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.

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