PSC Joins the Yankee Small College Conference
June 11, 2011
Paul Smiths, NY – Paul Smith’s College has announced that it will compete in a new athletic conference this fall. The Bobcats were accepted as new members of the Yankee Small College Conference (YSCC) within the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA). Paul Smith’s College re-joined the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) in 2010 and competed as an independent member, following four seasons (2006 – 2009) as members of the Sunrise Conference, part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
According to Paul Smith’s College Athletic Director Jim Tucker, the move to the YSCC will be a good fit for the Bobcats. “We’re excited to join the USCAA as a member of the Yankee Conference,” said Tucker, who has served as athletic director over the past year. “Our conference schedules will include more contests with similar academic missions and enrollments. The geographic spread of the former Sunrise Conference presented a variety of challenges, not the least of which was the hours away from the classroom.”
A growing conference in the USCAA, the Yankee Small College Conference is comprised of two- and four-year schools from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts; with Paul Smith’s College being the only member from west of Lake Champlain.
After an extensive review by YSCC representatives, Paul Smith’s College was voted into the conference by the organization’s board of directors. Also making their debut in the YSCC next season will be the University of Maine – Machias, College of St. Joseph (Rutland, Vt.), and Hampshire College (Amherst, Mass.), bringing the total number of conference members to 15.
The YSCC provides conference competition and championship opportunities as well as individual honors for many of the sports featured at Paul Smith’s College, including soccer (men/women), volleyball (women), cross country (men/women) basketball (men), and bowling (co-ed). The Bobcat student athletes already have enjoyed some success against some of the YSCC colleges this past season, where both Bobcat Cross Country Teams overwhelmingly won the YSCC Invitational in Concord, NH; leading to third and fourth place finishes at the USCAA Nationals.
The YSCC created east and west divisions for soccer, with Paul Smith’s College playing Hampshire College (Amherst, MA), Vermont Technical College, New Hampshire Technical Institute (NHTI), and the College of St. Joseph’s twice each this coming season; with the eastern division comprised of colleges from Maine. The top teams from both divisions will vie for the conference championships, with the overall champion receiving an automatic bid to the USCAA National Tournament in Ashville, NC this coming November. It is expected other soccer teams from the YSCC will receive bids based upon their national rankings.
The State University of New York – College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY – ESF) has also recently joined the USCAA, and Paul Smith’s College will be playing SUNY – ESF in both men’s and women’s soccer as well as men’s basketball this coming season. In fact, Tucker has been working collegially with Daniel Ramin who is the Athletic Director at SUNY – ESF to create the new Barkeater Cup to recognize both the men’s and women’s soccer victors following this annual contest. Annually, the soccer programs are vying for the same athletic prospects that are seeking higher education in forestry, fish and wildlife management and environmentally oriented programs; and most recognize that PSC and SUNY – ESF offer the two best educational options available to them in the Empire State. Tucker stated, “We are hopeful that the battles on the soccer pitch between the Bobcats and the Mighty Oaks of SUNY – ESF will become annual classics; and the players will form life-long memories from these contests.” This year’s Barkeater Cup battles will take place on Friday, October 28th at Paul Smith’s College.