Moorpark College Reinstates Baseball and Men’s Cross Country
Cross Country to begin this fall, Baseball next spring

After a two-year hiatus, the springtime cracking of bats hitting balls will return to Moorpark College in the 2015 season. And, the women’s cross country runners will soon have male accompaniment on their hilly runs through Moorpark. On Thursday, it was announced that baseball and men’s cross country will be reinstated at Moorpark College. Both programs were victims during California’s worst budget crisis in history two years ago.

“It is an unbelievable feeling to have these opportunities restored to the deserving student athletes of East Ventura County,” said Athletic Director Howard Davis. “While we suffered the darkest days in Raider Athletic history two years ago, we will not only put this crisis behind us, but it will serve like the pruning of a fruit tree. Our athletic program will come back stronger, healthier, and more fruitful than ever before.”

The two sports were reinstated through the college’s annual program planning process. Men’s Track and Field was also considered and will be re-evaluated using the same process next academic year. “The state revenue generated from the added baseball and cross country students won’t reach our campus for 18 months,” said Davis. “So, there will be a time gap between paying the bills and getting paid. Nonetheless, adding these sports is in the best interests of Moorpark College on many fronts, including financially.”

In announcing the reinstatement, College Interim President Dr. Bernard Luskin and Executive Vice President Dr. Lori Bennett noted several ways in which these programs meet the strategic planning, enrollment planning, and the student success and equity goals set by Moorpark College.

For the near future, the athletic department will be responsible for non-salary operational costs associated with these programs. “We are already planning major fundraising events to capture the excitement of the campus and the community in bringing back these programs,” said Davis. “When they were suspended, we heard from hundreds of devastated community members. We hope and believe the same people, and many others, will be there to assist us in our fundraising efforts.”

“Since these programs were cut, we have received great on-campus support, developed corporate partnerships, and enhanced community ties,” said Davis. “The loss of these programs, especially America’s pastime, at Moorpark College shocked many people. But, it also served to enlighten them to the need to become more involved in decisions being made on our campus. That has been, and will continue to be, the rainbow in this horrible storm.”

Recruiting will begin immediately. Mario Porto will return as head baseball coach. Traycie Kephart, head women’s cross country coach, will also coach the men’s cross country team. In its last baseball season, 2012, the Raiders were champions of the WSC. Summer session training courses will be offered for student athletes in both sports.