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Official dedication of athletic facilities marks new era for campus sports

Britni Alford

Hawks' fan Steve Papadopoulos cuts the ceremonial ribbon to dedicate the athletic fields alongside members of the softball team, the Hawks' mascot, and speakers from the event

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Cosumnes River College President Deborah Travis spoke to members of the board of trustees, administration and the athletics department as they gathered for the dedication of the Cosumnes River College Physical Education and Athletics Fields on March 5.

Travis thanked all those involved in the process that led to the new facilities.Los Rios Chancellor Brian King mirrored many of Travis’ words as he thanked all those involved in the project and spoke of the excitement about the fields and the future.

“I think it’s great to have facilities as great as the teams,” King said. “I think we want to be committed to maintaining these facilities. There isn’t really a next step, just maintaining these facilities.”

Travis made it clear that the features that the new athletic facilities provided are essential to supporting athletics and the athletes. Matching the quality of the facilities to the quality of the athletic program in order to entice new recruits was another goal of the project.

“Overall I think it does allow for the college to recruit athletes,” Travis said. “It allows us to serve the community in a new way.”

It was the commitment of funds through taxpayers in the form of bond measures that helped make the fields a reality, a fact not lost by those gathered.

“I want to take a moment to thank people we don’t forget about but don’t always mention, the taxpayers,” said Los Rios Board of Trustees President Pamela Haynes. “As their commitment through measures M and X helped make these fields possible.”

Liz Belyea, the dean of the Kinesiology & Athletics Division, spoke of how some community colleges in the state did not have much in the way of facilities or funds for their athletics departments.

“I feel very blessed to be at a college that understands the value of athletics,” Belyea said. “To be in this district that understands the value of athletics.”

Belyea added that in the 23 years she had been at CRC, she had nothing but support from the administration and district when it came to the athletics. Belyea also mentioned that the fields would bring a higher level of competitive athletes to the campus.

“We’re going to start attracting the premier athletes,” Belyea said. “We did it without fields so just imagine with fields.”

As the proceedings moved towards wrapping up, CRC alumni and sports reporter for The Sacramento Bee Joe Davidson took the podium and spoke of his time at CRC.

“I went to school here in the mid 80’s,” Davidson said. “The coyotes were gone but the jackrabbits were still running through.”

On a more serious note, Davidson spoke on the impressive nature of the CRC athletics department as he said that the baseball team’s state championship win without having a home field last season was “I think the most impressive thing I’ve seen.”

As the national anthem played in the background for the start of the baseball game against Sacramento City College, the event came to an end with the softball team and gathered administrators standing behind as student Steve Papadopoulos, billed as the Hawks’ number one fan, cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially dedicate the campus facilities.

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Official dedication of athletic facilities marks new era for campus sports