At the annual meeting of Mid-South Conference member schools, held Wednesday at Georgetown College, the year just completed was reviewed and plans were made for the upcoming 2011-2012 athletic seasons.
The most notable change to come out of Wednesday’s meetings was the change in membership in the Mid-South Conference. Because it has petitioned to join the ranks of NCAA D-II schools, West Virginia Tech will not be eligible next season for post-season play in the MSC. All schools will still play the Bears in all sports but the games will not count as conference contests.
The conference make-up will further change in 2012-2013 when Cumberland University (Tennessee) and Bluefield College (Virginia) will join the existing teams in the Mid-South. Both of the newcomers will field teams in all sports the conference currently offers.
And those offerings may well increase by that time. Cheerleading and bowling will be in their second seasons as “emerging sports” according to the NAIA. St. Catharine already offers both sports with the men’s bowling team enjoying success this year when they placed fifth nationally in the NAIA Invitational.
St. Catharine athletic director, Mike Doig, also reported on the success of the entire athletic department following Wednesday’s meeting. “This year we had seven athletes named first team all-conference. We had 15 honorable mention all-conference and 28 academic all-conference athletes. Also, Mandy Gray received the Champion of Character award for conference volleyball. We also had two NAIA All-Americans and five NAIA Academic All-Americans.”
The Champions of Character program, the cornerstone of the NAIA organization, was another item on Wednesday’s agenda as Doig explained. “What the athletic directors want to do is to create a leadership symposium f about 10 athletes from each school. They will take those Champions of Character core values back to their respective campuses to help their fellow athletes implement them.”
Other news from Wednesday included the awarding of the NAIA Division I Women's Basketball National Championship to the Frankfort Convention Center & Mid-South Conference. The tournament will be held there for 2012, 2013 and 2014. Bowling Green could also become a venue for a national NAIA championship as they will bid for the baseball World Series that is currently held in Lewiston, Idaho.
St. Catharine College will continue to host two conference championships next year. The Mid-South softball tournament will again be held at Millennium Park in Danville and the spring golf championship will be played at Bardstown Country Club at Maywood.