Cayuga Community College plans to add two new sports programs this fall, including the first online program in school history.
As part of the College’s continued effort to increase athletic offerings and student life opportunities, Cayuga will add Esports and Clay Target shooting to its current programs. Both programs are gender-inclusive and open to all academically eligible students enrolled at Cayuga.
Cayuga Athletic Director D.J. Bevivino said coaches for both teams are actively recruiting this summer and will begin competition in the fall. He also noted that both programs represent a first for the College: Esports will be Cayuga’s first online athletic program, and Clay Target will be the first athletic program offered primarily in Oswego County.
“We’re excited to break new ground by adding Esports and Clay Target to our athletic programs. These programs encourage students’ individual talents while creating an avenue to grow the cooperative and communicative skills built in a team environment,” said Bevivino. “These are life-long sports many of our students enjoyed before attending Cayuga and plan to enjoy for years to come. Now they have the chance to compete on a collegiate level.”
The Clay Target team will be coached by Dan Fadden, a veteran instructor and competitive shooter of 30 years who captured a junior state title, competed in the Empire State Games and trained at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The team will practice and compete off-campus in Oswego County.
“Clay target shooting is a very safe sport that teaches young people how to safely handle firearms. It’s also an inclusive sport that encourages students familiar with trap shooting and those who haven’t competed previously,” he said. “I’m excited to get started at Cayuga, to work with our students and help them develop as competitors and adults.”
Esports will be coached by Gina Welliver, who previously coached the Esports team for two years at Nassau Community College. In her first year at Nassau, the team captured three league titles and featured almost 100 participating student-athletes.
“Esports is such a broad field. It appeals to students who enjoy traditional sports games, but it also draws students who enjoy more action-based games,” said Welliver. “While it’s obviously different from other athletics, Esports teaches many of the same values — mental preparation, technical skills, building chemistry with teammates. These skills will be applicable for students throughout their careers.”
Cayuga’s Esports team will compete in 13 games, including titles such as “Fortnite,” “Halo,” “Madden,” “FIFA,” and “Call of Duty.” The team will participate in two leagues, the NJCAA Esports League and the SUNY Esports League. Students participate virtually from off-campus.
For more information on Cayuga’s athletic programs, visit www.cayugaspartans.com.