Interest in women’s athletics fading

By Robert Clinton, Sports Editor

CCC’s women’s soccer team canceled its first non-conference game against Shasta College on Aug. 27 out of fear of beginning the season the same way it finished its previous one win season — short handed.

“It is really disappointing to start the season like this with only 10 players,” Comet assistant coach Magaly Juco said. “We recruited this summer but some of the players quit and some didn’t have enough units.

“Some of the players came late so all of their paperwork wasn’t in,” she said. “But now we have (10) players and plan on playing in the next game.”

In the same week the volleyball team also scrubbed its spot in a scrimmage tournament at Diablo Valley College, partly because of coach Zach Schrieve’s untimely illness, but also due to a serious lack of interest shown by potential student-athletes to the sport.

Athletic Director John Wade said, “It’s early in the season and just because two early games were scratched from the schedule doesn’t mean the season is in trouble.”

Last semester a campus forum on whether there is enough interest on campus to add another women’s sports team may have been a harbinger of things to come based on lack of interest.

Athletic directors and coaches alike point to a number of modern societal shifts that may explain the decline in women’s participation rates.

Wade said. “Women in our society have different obligations. When WNBA stars Candace Parker and Lisa Leslie were at the top of their game they took time off to have kids. There are different demands placed on women.”

But it isn’t as simple as that.

“It’s about building relationships,” Comet men’s soccer coach and former women’s coach Nikki Ferguson said. “I know how much work (recruiting) took. It’s hard. People don’t realize how much time it takes to develop and sustain a program.”