Alumni Plaza the center of the Dowagiac campus


Volleyball team celebrates

Volleyball team celebrates a victory

Cross country teams with their regional hardware

Cross country teams with their regional hardware

Men’s basketball team

The men's basketball team

SMC women's basketball, Great Lakes District Champions

Women’s basketball team, Great Lakes District Champions

Wrestlers at NCJAA Nationals

Wrestlers at the NJCAA Nationals

SMC Wins 2023-2024 MCCAA All-Sports Trophy

Published on June 13, 2024 - 12 p.m.

For the first time in school history, Southwestern Michigan College Athletics has earned the Michigan Community College Athletic Association's most prestigious honor.

The Charlie Chanter All-Sports Trophy, named after a former coach and professor at Grand Rapids Community College, is presented annually to the college with the most overall success in its programs.

Returning to competitive action in 2021 after a 25-year hiatus, SMC's athletic programs had tremendous success last season, with four teams - men's and women's cross country, women's basketball and men’s wrestling -- making national tournament appearances.

"I am grateful for this award as it recognizes all of the hard-working young men and women who put it on the line every day to represent the community as SMC Roadrunners,” Athletic Director Rodell Davis said. "We all appreciate the support of the Board of Trustees, administration, staff, faculty, parents and fans, and we’re thrilled to be back and competing at a high level in the conference.”

The trophy is awarded each academic year to one of the 24 MCCAA colleges based on where each team finishes within the association. Points are awarded to each member college based on each team's rank in an MCCAA-sponsored sport with bonus points added for teams who finish as an MCCAA champion or runner-up.

Lansing Community College has claimed the award 19 times since it was first presented in 1958, which currently leads among MCCAA members. GRCC has won the award 16 times, ranking second.

Both SMC Roadrunners cross country teams finished as runner-up in the MCCAA and NJCAA Region XII championships. The women's team finished 12th at the NJCAA National Championships and the men finished 17th. 

Kierstyn Thompson was named to the MCCAA All-Freshman Team while she and sophomores Allison Lauri and Morgan Piecynski made the All-MCCAA Team. On the men’s side, Isaiah Beiter, Ethan Glick and Micah Ordway were also named All-MCCAA.

Men’s wrestling won its second consecutive MCCAA championship, finished second in the Great Lakes District with four weight-class champions, and sent the maximum of ten wrestlers to the NJCAA National Championships in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  The team finished #22 overall and #17 in Division 1. Sophomore Hunter Heath was MCCAA Wrestler of the Year and sophomore Caeleb Ishmael was named an NJCAA All-American.

The women's basketball team won the MCCAA Western Conference (going 15-1 at home), won the Great Lakes District B title and played in the national tournament in Joplin, Missouri, finishing #16 in the country.  Coach Jay Jenkins was named Great Lakes District B Coach of the Year and Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan Women’s Junior College Coach of the Year. Five players - sophomores Tori Eldridge, Macey Laubach, Cameron Thomas and Nalani Williams, plus freshman Amara Palmer - received postseason honors, including Defensive Players of the Year, All-Freshman, All-Conference, All-Region, All-District Tournament Teams and All-District Tournament MVP.  Thomas was also named an NJCAA All-American.

The volleyball and men’s basketball teams did not make their national tournaments, but both squads had very successful seasons and improved their records over 2022-2023, their first season back in competition.

The volleyball team was 23-13, finishing third in the MCCAA Western Conference. Four players earned postseason honors, led by sophomore Nikki Nate, who was named to the All-Region, All-MCCAA and First Team All-Conference teams and won Western Conference Player of the Year.  

The men's basketball team was 16-12, good for fourth place in the West and earning a home playoff game. Five players received postseason honors, led by Prince Adams, who made the All-Freshman, All Defensive and All-Western Conference Second Teams.

In April 2024, SMC announced the expansion of athletics with the addition of Women’s Wrestling, Women’s Track & Field and Men’s Track & Field as NJCAA sports to begin in Fall 2025.

Chanter was the MCCAA executive secretary for 42 years, and served in the MCCAA from the 1950s until 2008. He began at what was then Grand Rapids Junior College in 1954, teaching in the Business Department and serving as chair at one point. Chanter then retired from full-time work in 1994, continuing as an adjunct instructor and golf coach until 2007.