PCC athletes back in competition; no fans allowed for a month

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
Pratt Community College athletics has hired Steven Kenner to lead the PCC women’s basketball program in 2021. The season began Friday for volleyball, wrestling and basketball for the KJCCC.

Student-athletes at Pratt Community College began a new season last week with the start of competitive schedules for basketball, wrestling and volleyball athletes. Coronavirus cancellations last fall and postponements of usual winter beginnings created new circumstances for several junior college level sports, but on January 22, 2021, all that has been in waiting became reality, along with the introduction of new PCC women's basketball coach Steven Kenner.

"I'm pleased Coach Kenner agreed to be our next women's coach. I believe he will be a great fit for Pratt Community Colleg and the Pratt community. Coach Kenner has head coaching experience at the junior college level as well as at the four-year level. His commitment to building relationships and being active in the community will endear him to our players, fans, and community," said PCC athletic director Tim Schwartzendruber.

Kenner, most recently a coach at the DME Sports Academy in Daytona Beach, Florida, was hired to replace John Ishee who resigned from the head women's basketball coaching position at Pratt Community College last year.  Kenner has an a 18-year record of coaching experience at Southeastern Illinois College (Harrisburg, IL) and Emory & Henry College (Emory, VA).

While PCC athletes and coaches are glad to be back in the Beaver-dome, fans will not be allowed for some time.  The Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) will not permit fans to attend sporting events for the first month of the 2021 spring semester. Conference officials issued a statement about that decision as follows.

"The KJCCC unanimously approved a COVID-19 Protocol which provides requirements, guidelines and recommendations toward spring semester competitions.  The chief item within the protocol that shaped its development is the philosophy statement of athletic play during this unprecedented time. 

"The safety of KJCCC student-athletes, coaches, and staff is paramount and those considerations should guide the conference as our member institutions begin to reopen campus and prepare to host intercollegiate practices and competitions. The emphasis for the 2020-2021 seasons should be on the ability to play games and not on winning championships. This season will be judged less on who wins a championship, but rather on the ability to provide opportunities for our student-athletes to represent our institutions in a safe manner.

"Regarding this philosophy, the KJCCC will not allow fans to attend events from January 4, 2021 until February 5, 2021. This will be revisited in February to determine if we open our events for attendance by our valued fans for the rest of the spring. Schools will be operating in accordance with local and state public officials regarding a return to campus, practice, and competition within the local health department guidelines. The conference has established a conference COVID-19 Committee to monitor changes that may occur. We will remain fluid to allow the safest environment for our student athletes that we serve."

Updated scheduled for PCC fall, winter sports events now taking place in 2021 may be found at GoBeaverSports.com.