Aerial view of the Dowagiac campus

SMC expanding club sports

06/14/2019 - 8am
Bill Roggeman

In its continuing effort to engage students in activities they are passionate about, Southwestern Michigan College plans to expand club sports for Fall 2019 to encompass rock climbing, women’s volleyball, competitive cheerleading and archery.

“We already have rock climbing and competitive cheer groups,” Student Activity Center (SAC) Manager Bill Roggeman said. “We have interest in volleyball year in and year out. Archery came out of surveys and research because there’s such an interest in hunting in our rural area. Plus, there are large 4-H groups in Michigan and Indiana. We’re finding other schools both our size and bigger that have archery so it’s something non-traditional we can develop and be competitive.”

Basketball and flag football have been successful as intramural mainstays, he added. Club sports represent a “step above intramurals” because they involve some weekend travel to compete with other colleges.

“It gives our residence life students an additional opportunity to come out, watch and support their classmates, like the music and theatre departments do,” Roggeman said. “We’re hoping the sports management program will be able to actively help at some point.”

Roggeman came to SMC as intramurals coordinator after 34 years of high school teaching and coaching across northern Indiana, including Elkhart and Mishawaka.

“Coach Dan” Cunningham, current intramurals coordinator, helped survey what’s available.

“With volleyball,” Roggeman said, “the plan is to practice a couple of weeks early in the semester, then go to a tournament, come back and practice and go to another tournament. There are tournaments year-round.”

“We’ve been working with Hale’s, which has been great, to set us up with basic equipment,” Roggeman said. “(The Dowagiac store) has an archery target zone where two people can shoot at a time. They’ll work with (students) for some initial training, and we’ll see where it goes from there.”