Women's Softball Cancelled for Third Consecutive Season

Coaches, athletes and fans of Santa Monica College women's softball are in for another season of disappointment before it even begins. On Oct. 28, Athletic Director Gregg Simmons canceled the softball season, for the third semester running.

In Spring 2008, the team went from 18 to six eligible players, but they needed nine to take the field and 12 just to have a comfortable bench. At first, Head Coach Marty Kreman started canceling games one week at a time, until there was no hope left and the season had to be let go all together. Simmons' decision has been a shocker for all. "I was looking forward to a fun season and felt we would have a lot of players," said Kreman, whose teaching schedule was cut as well. However, most people have gotten mixed messages on what is happening to the team.

"It's canceled as far as conference play," said Simmons. "We have commitments and we were not ready for the team to actually participate."

Western State Conference scheduling must be done in the beginning of the year, before the spring semester. SMC failed to get their paperwork done in time, hence their ineligibility to play this season.

"We were about to go into our third year with not enough bodies to move forward," said Simmons who decided it would be better to withdraw from the conference than to ruin SMC's reputation in the WSC. "If we had gone another season we wouldn't have had a good relationship with our conference."

Although the team will no longer be participating in intercollegiate games, Simmons hopes to get a softball club started.

"We will want to have a team, we still want to have competitions coming spring," said Simmons encouraging any women who are interested in playing softball to contact him. "It was nothing against the girls," said Simmons. "The change we made was a change in leadership. We just needed to move forward. Everyone got kind of emotional and stuff. We're not canceling the season, just changing leadership."

Debbie Skaggs has been recruited as the new instructor starting Jan. 5 for the winter semester class KIN PE 45C, Advanced Softball. The class will be given Mondays through Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5:05 p.m.

"The course is designed for individuals with above average skills. Activities are centered around skills learned in KIN PE 45A game situations," according to the college catalogue Skaggs has worked at SMC before as a teacher and is now returning as the interim softball coach. Unfortunately for SMC she's already committed to another team for the Spring 2009 season.

"She's a good resource and a strong coach," said Simmons regarding Skaggs. "She's a big proponent to softball and to what I'm trying to do."

Simmons wants to build a strong team, starting now, for the 2010 season. He plans to get the same girls who were planning on trying out for the team involved in the club, so they can practice and improve their efforts. "I still want the girls to compete and then petition to put a team back together for the next 2010 season," he said.

If anyone is interested in joining the softball club for the Spring 2009 season, which will hopefully propel into the softball team for the Spring 2010 season, please contact Gregg Simmons at Simmons_gregg@smc.edu or (310) 434- 4213.