By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Toledo, Ohio---Owens Community College announced today the return of the softball and baseball programs, along with the transition of all five sports to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III level beginning in the 2018-19 season.
Thus, Owens will still compete at the NJCAA Division II level in men's basketball, women's basketball and women's volleyball in 2017-18. Then, all five sports will transition to Division III in 2018-19.
“I would like to thank the Owens administration for their decision to bring back Owens Express baseball and softball for the 2018-2019 season,” said J.D. Ettore, Owens athletic director. “From my perspective, by going D-III, Owens will be providing an excellent education for these student-athletes along with the chance for young men and young women to play a sport they love for a well-rounded college experience.”
The baseball and softball programs were previously suspended as part of the college's effort to streamline its budget after being placed on fiscal watch in April 2015. At that time, the college also suspended men's and women's soccer along with men's golf. Earlier this month, the state of Ohio removed Owens from fiscal watch.
The Owens softball program compiled a 550-256-1 record from 1999-2016 with 14 Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) championships and three district championships. The team finished as the national runner-up in 2011 and fifth place nationally in 2005 at the Division II level. The program previously competed at the Division III level from 1999-2001.
The Owens baseball program compiled a 589-456-1 record from 1994-2016. The team also competed in 1966 for one season, but no records are available from that year. From 2000-2016, Owens captured seven OCCAC championships, three Region XII titles and two district championships. The team previously competed at the Division III level from 1994-2001.
For anyone interested in competing for either of these programs, visit the links below to fill out an interest form:
Stay tuned to OwensExpress.com from here on out for the latest information on each program.