January 13, 2021
HARRIMAN, Tenn. – As Roane State Community College celebrates its 50th birthday, Athletics Department staff are happy to announce that sports will soon be back in full swing. The college will begin its 48th season of competition at home on January 20 when the Lady Raiders basketball team tips-off against in-state rival Columbia State.
Less than a year ago, there was no sign of when and how sports might return. Junior college basketball tournaments across the nation screeched to a halt as COVID-19 emerged. Spring sports like baseball, softball and golf barely got started before having to cancel events due to the pandemic. Likewise, fall and winter sports were summarily placed on indefinite hold.
In the meantime, student-athletes found themselves in the strange new world of sheltering-at-home while continuing their academic endeavors almost entirely online. In their efforts to learn how to cope with a world-changing pandemic, many found themselves at a loss as they tried to discover what the “new normal” would be.
Today, the situation is changing. Practices have resumed, more safety protocols are in place and sports are back in action. After the Lady Raiders kick off the new season on January 20, the men’s basketball team will hit the hardwood on January 27 at Motlow State.
On February 2, the Raiders baseball team will take the field at Georgia Highlands College. On the same day, the inaugural season of Roane State volleyball (which was scheduled to start last fall) will finally get underway at home against Walters State.
On February 6, the Raiders softball team will square off in their 2021 season opener at home against Columbia State. And last, but not least, the Raiders golf team plans their first outing of the season on March 5.
Each team’s schedule and travel possibilities have been greatly reduced in 2021. Basketball, baseball and softball will play a truncated conference slate against Eastern Division opponents (including Walters State, Chattanooga State, Cleveland State and Motlow State). Each team has specific limits on in-state and out-of-state travel. However, according to RSCC Athletics Director Randy Nesbit, “We are operating with the possibility that games could be added as the seasons move forward.”
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee recently extended the State of Emergency through February 27. However, not all athletics are included in the Executive Order. Because of this, games can be played but fans will be not be allowed to attend the contests until the all-clear is given from the Tennessee Board of Regents.
In response, Roane State announced it will be live-streaming as many games as possible so fans, family and friends will be able to watch the events as they happen. Information on how to view games online will be available at roanestate.edu/athletics as soon as details are finalized.
Regarding not having fans in the gym, women’s basketball player Brooke Christian stated, “I’m hoping we’ll get to have them eventually. Until then, it’ll be nice having the online support.”
Christian added, “It feels crazy being able to play again. I feel like we’ve been working together as a team just waiting for our time to play. Now, it’s finally here.”
As sports return to Roane State, it’s also important to note that stringent testing and safety protocols from the NJCAA and subsequently the TCCAA have established rigid standards for these competitions. A recent message from the TCCAA to member institutions stated: “Despite the extensive planning and precautions that have been taken… COVID-19 has created situations where we must remain fluid and act accordingly in the best interest of the safety and health of the TCCAA student-athletes.”
Roane State will continue to monitor the latest guidance from its governing bodies and health experts in order to make the most appropriate decisions for the safety of our students and staff.
Roane State Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, ethnicity or national origin, sex, disability, age, status as protected veteran or any other class protected by Federal or State laws and regulation and by Tennessee board of Regents policies with respect to employment, programs, and activities. View full non-discrimination policy.