Archive for the ‘Top Story’ Category

State Fair stays

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

Word has been going around about possible removal of The Kansas State Fair from Hutchinson.

This came about after a bill was passed by State Rep. Don Schroeder, R-Hesston, which if it passed, would have allowed the State Fair Board to seek proposals from cities that had an interest in hosting the fair.

However, State Sen. Ed Berger, R-Hutchinson and former Hutchinson Community College president, introduced a bill, allowing state sales tax to be collected by and returned to the fair, but only if the fair stayed in Hutchinson. According to an article from The Hutchinson News, “Funds will end if the State Fair leaves the city limits of Hutchinson.”

Hutchinson Community College Director of Marketing and Public Relations Denny Stoecklein began his 20-year-involvement with the State Fair in 1995. His duties were to find corporate sponsorships, scheduling events happening during the fair, and was held responsible for marketing uses of the fairgrounds off-season as well.

After four years, Stoecklein was promoted to Assistant Manager, and in 2003, was titled General Manager. Stoecklein served that role until July 2015, when he was given the opportunity to be PR and Director of Marketing by HutchCC.

“With a history that dates back 100 years in Hutchinson and Reno County, I think the State Fair is quite secure where it’s at,” Stoecklein said. “Fairs are about tradition, traditions that vary with each person.”

When asked how the city of Hutchinson and the college would be affected if the State Fair was to be moved, Stoecklein said that there would be a huge impact, since the fair generates tens of millions of dollars annually, from the fair and many other events, non-fair related that utilize the buildings throughout the years.

Stoecklein said that HutchCC benefits from the fair through marketing offers to potential students, and provides a connection with current and former students.

“Just last year, hundreds of former students stopped by our booth to sign a historic desk from Lockman Hall (that’s currently in display in the Admissions office in the Student Union),” Stoecklein said.

There are also opportunities for student groups or clubs to raise money. They can earn by helping with parking spaces or working in the food court. Nursing students, are able to gain valuable hands-on experience assisting exhibitors in health-related fields,” Stoecklein said.

HutchCC, Gowans will be site of 2020 national track championship

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

By The Collegian staff

Hutchinson Community College will be the host school for the 2020 NJCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship, the NJCAA announced on Tuesday.

Gowans Stadium will be where the events will take place May 14-16 2020, except for the throwing events. The discus and shot put will be on the grass field northeast of Gowans, the javelin at Don Michael Field, and the hammer throw will be Fairgrounds Park.

Hutchinson also was the championship host in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017.

Hutchinson has become something of a hub for the NJCAA to stage national championships. The men’s basketball championship has been in Hutchinson since 1949. The Division 1 Volleyball Championship was at the Sports Arena last November and will be there the next two Novembers.

The Salt City Bowl football game has been in Hutchinson since 2009

Astronaut Capt. Scott Kelly in Hutch on April 17

Friday, April 6th, 2018

By Merissa Anderson
Collegian Editor

Navy Capt. Scott Kelly, an astronaut best known for his year-long voyage on the International Space Station, will be visiting Hutchinson Community College for what should be an awe-inspiring speech April 17 through the Dillon Lecture Series and Cosmosphere.

According to Kelly’s web site, scottkelly.com, he is a former military fighter pilot and test pilot, an engineer, a retired astronaut, and a retired U.S. Navy captain. He is a veteran of four space flights, and Kelly commanded the International Space Station on three expeditions and was a member of the yearlong mission to the ISS. In Oct. 2015, he set the record for the total accumulated number of days spent in space, the single longest space mission by an American astronaut.

Kelly resides in Houston.

Robin Woodworth, HutchCC Administrative Assistant to the President and Dillon Lecture Series Coordinator, said she believes that Kelly’s speech on will be important for the community and campus.

“He encourages people to dream and keep persevering and, as he says, ‘The sky is not the limit’,” Woodworth said. “I hope students will take advantage of this, because it’s an opportunity that a lot of people won’t have. I just hope that they would attend all of the Dillon Lectures, because even though they may not know the person or recognize the name, they certainly have something we feel would be a good message for this.”

Sam Wilson, a HutchCC sophomore and box office associate at the Cosmosphere, said he has been looking forward to Kelly’s lecture for months.

“When I first heard that Scott Kelly was coming to Hutchinson, I was ecstatic,” Wilson said. “Being able to hear first-hand accounts of monumental accomplishments, such as living through a long-duration space flight, is exhilarating. It definitely gives me hope for the future of space flight.”

On average, a Dillon Lecture will draw in a crowd of 1,500 people to 1,800, according to Woodworth. But, because of the attention that Kelly’s inspiring adventure has drawn, upwards of 2,300 people are expected to attend.

“I think this will probably be the largest and most-attended lecture,” Woodworth said. “The Cosmosphere spoke to us when we were selecting speakers for the 2018 lectures and suggested that we partner up with Capt. Scott Kelly. They certainly had followed his year in space and thought that he would be a good speaker. It’s a win-win situation for us.

Admittance into the lecture is free for HutchCC students, faculty and staff with an ID. For anyone else interested in attending Kelly’s lecture, tickets are $10.

“From what I can tell, he’s going to tie in his life experiences and struggles from when he was younger,” Woodworth said. “He’ll also talk about how he has endured obstacles and how he never would have imagined he would make history.”

 

Josh Gooch gives input on recent football accusations

Friday, April 6th, 2018

By Brenna Eller
Opinion Page Editor

Hutchinson Community College Athletic Director Josh Gooch said that he was aware of the recent news stories regarding accusations that football coach Rion Rhoades allegedly displayed racism towards black players, and Gooch said he met with some football players and coaches to discuss the allegations.

Gooch, in an email response, said he could not comment on the meeting because it was a “personnel-related matter.”

The Collegian has contacted some HutchCC football players about the accusations, but none have been willing to provide on-the-record comments.

The Collegian’s policy is not to use anonymous sources unless a person’s physical safety is at risk. The Collegian uses only named sources otherwise, for credible and ethical purposes.

“Hutchinson Community College will not tolerate any form of discrimination. We have a robust nondiscrimination environment,” Gooch said.

He also pointed out that there is a “Notice of Nondiscrimination” at the bottom of the college’s main web page, HutchCC.edu.

Rhoades has been the Blue Dragons’ coach since Dec. 2006. Gooch came with Rhoades as an assistant and left in 2010 to become the head football coach at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa. Gooch returned a year later as an assistant coach and became an AD on July 1, 2015.

Gooch was asked if anyone had lodged a formal complaint against Rhoades – or any football coach – regarding conduct toward players or assistants of any race. He said he could not comment again because it is a personnel-related matter.

Gooch said that if a player or athlete at HutchCC feels he or she has been subjected to racism by a coach or teammate, there are options to take.

“Jake Gunden is the College Equity and Compliance officer,” Gooch said. “Any individual who feels they have suffered discriminatory incidents should contact Mr. Gunden, and he will provide the appropriate guidance on how the individual should proceed and will be the college’s contact.”

A look at every current athletic roster at the college indicates that all 12 teams are multi-racial.

“Athletics enriches and enhances this diversity and our college community,” Gooch said. “This diversity was recently highlighted in a University Business article in which Hutchinson Community College was featured. Our coaches recruit, train, and mentor all of our athletes no matter their ethnicity, religion, or country of origin. HutchCC athletics adds depth and richness to the diversity tapestry of Hutchinson Community College.”

RASK inspires weekly amigurumi scavenger hunt

Friday, March 23rd, 2018

By Merissa Anderson
Collegian Editor

Following the recent involvement of the RASK Force (Random Acts of Selfless Kindness) on campus, Leanna Coon, Writing Paraprofessional at Rimmer Learning and Resource Center, along with Desiree Coon, IT Support Analyst, have worked together to hand crochet and hide tiny stuffed animals known as amigurumi.

Since the idea came about in February, the pair has hidden five amigurumi and hope to continue the event weekly.

“Desiree had the idea to put out little critters for RASK because it would be a way to cheer people up, and market Rimmer by tying it to Facebook.” Leanna Coon said. “We have clues posted before we hide each amigurumi with a note that has the website address so that people can post their photos and share them with us online.”

One such found amigurumi was a cat that was picked up by an anonymous passerby and then passed around campus before coming back into the hands of Hannah Gomez, a front desk writing tutor at RLRC.

“It wasn’t originally found by me, but it was passed around to me after traveling campus,” Gomez said. “It was so squishy, and it brought me a lot of joy to look at how cute it was.”

Included on the amigurumi is a note with a happy quote and instructions on how to post their find on the the Rimmer Facebook page, Hutch CC Rimmer Services.

A faculty member’s young daughter, upon hearing about the amigurumi scavenger hunt, used the posted clues to seek out a crocheted Ariel hiding in the ocean section of the library.

Shortly after, her smiling face was posted and the amigurumi’s purpose was fulfilled.

“I think (the amigurumis) and RASK is a good idea to make people more mindful of others’ feelings, and just make their day a little better.” Leanna Coon said. “I like knowing that it’s going to cheer somebody up and having a little project that I can complete relatively quickly.”

Depending on the size of the amigurumi, it can take between a few hours to several days to complete one for the scavenger hunt that is free and available to all students on Wednesdays.

End of the road for Blue Dragons

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

By Lucas Barlow
Sports Editor

The dream is finally over for the Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team.

The daunting challenge of winning back-to- back national championships proved too difficult for

the Blue Dragons as they exited the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship in the second round Wednesday night at the Sports Arena, falling to Florida SouthWestern State 80-65.

“They’re a good team,” Blue Dragons coach Steve Eck said. “We got their best shot tonight, and it showed.”

Many would say this is one of the more “rollercoaster-esque” seasons in recent years, as Hutchinson

experienced many highs and lows throughout the past six months. They also graduate one of

the most dynamic duos in sophomores J.J. Rhymes and Devonte Bandoo. However, the Blue

Dragons have nothing to be disappointed in, as they finish another great season with a, overall

29-7 record and fourth straight appearance at the national tournament.

The Sports Arena was the place to be Wednesday night, as the 11th-seeded Blue Dragons took on the sixth-seeded Buccaneers from Florida SouthWestern State in a highly-anticipated second-round game. Right from the beginning, it was apparent that the Buccaneers were hungry to knock off the defending national champions on their home court. The game was tight for a majority of the first half, with the Blue Dragons staying within 10 points, but after a

media timeout late in the half, things started to get ugly for Hutchinson.

Up 37-29 at the half, the Buccaneers did not slow their scoring in the second half, as they repeatedly knocked down

shots. Florida SouthWestern used its quick transition game and lethal scoring ability to put the

game to rest early.

After the first media timeout of the half, the Buccaneers were up almost by 20, and the Blue Dragons didn’t have enough firepower to get back in it. Hutchinson’s season was over 14 minutes later.

The Buccaneers shot an impressive 52.5 percent, while the Blue Dragons were held to 38.9 percent.
“Florida SouthWestern is well rounded, they run good offense, they play tough defense and it was tough to score out there,” Eck said.

Eck also stated that the height mismatch was difference maker and that the Buccaneers were no doubt the best team they’ve played all year.

The Blue Dragons graduate six sophomores this year- each of them playing vital parts on this year’s squad. However, Bandoo and Rhymes will go down as two of the best players in Hutchinson history. Rhymes finishes seventh in Blue Dragon leading scorers (1,295 points), while Bandoo finishes 15th (1,072 points). “I wouldn’t want to go out with any other group of guys,” Rhymes said in an emotional post-game interview. “We had our ups and downs, but their family that I wouldn’t want to trade for anything else, and I thank them for

that.

“I also want to thank God for giving me this opportunity, and I can’t wait to see what he

has for me in the future.”

All of the sophomores leave will leave HutchCC with 64 total wins, a conference championship and of course, the 2017 national championship.

Roundup: Baseball, softball bats wake up, winter weather wipes out golf

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

The Hutchinson Community College baseball team had its best weekend of the young Jayhawk Conference season, as the Blue Dragons took three out of four games from Butler Community College.

The Blue Dragons swept a doubleheader last Thursday at Hobart-Detter Field, winning 14-10 and 15-10. Two days later, the Blue Dragons and Grizzlies split a pair of 5-4 games.

The Blue Dragons got the weekend off to a bright start, as Logan Santori, Bobby Morgensen and Garret Stephens belted home runs. Santori added two doubles and drove in seven runs.

The next game, HutchCC belted 16 hits, as Santori, Zach Baxley and Riley Metzger had three apiece. Stephens, Metzger and Scott Wolverton hit home runs.

The Blue Dragons nearly came back from a 5-1 hole in the second game, but came up short. Dylan Nedved had three of the eight HutchCC hits.

Santori again led the Blue Dragons in the finale, hitting two more home runs and driving in three runs. Mike Brown was the winning pitcher, and Dayden Lane picked up his second save.

The Blue Dragons (14-10 overall, 7-5 Jayhawk West) also had a Tuesday game moved to Cowley College due to poor field conditions in Hutchinson. Cowley won 9-3.

Softball – The Blue Dragons continued their strong season by winning three of four conference games over the weekend.

HutchCC swept Coffeyville easily, 11-2 and 13-5, and then split with Labette, losing 9-8 and winning 2-1.

Kiara DeCrame picked apart Coffeyville pitching, going 7 for 7 in the two games. She score four runs and drove in seven more. DeCrame also smacked a pair of homers in the second game.

Hutchinson blew an 8-7 lead in the first game with Labette, but came back in the next game behind a four-hitter from Destiniy Schulze.

The Blue Dragons have a four-game, two-day road trip starting today, playing at Johnson County. Saturday, they’re at Fort Scott.

Golf ­– A snowstorm wiped out this week’s tournament in Nebraska. The Blue Dragons were to play in a 54-hole tournament in Kearney, but it was cancelled.

This is the second straight spring tournament the Blue Dragons have had called off due to bad weather.

The Blue Dragons are next scheduled top play Monday at Colbert Hills Country Club in Manhattan.

Tom Reilly, NJCAA host, helps Tournament run smoothly

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

With the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship having begun Monday, the Sports Arena has been jam-packed with junior college teams and fans from all over the country.

With that in mind, how does everything not get out of control?

There are behind-the-scene people who help run the NJCAA Tournament and manage possible chaos. One of these groups is the team hosts. Tom Reilly, a Topeka native and Hutchinson resident is Hutchinson Community College’s host for this year.

“Every team has a host, and there are 24 teams in the Tournament,” Reilly said. “The hosts don’t know who they have until the seeds are finalized. Once they are informed who they have, they reach out to the school and introduce themselves.”

Their job is mostly to help the team with time management, scheduling practices and supervise the locker rooms and on benches with the team they are hosting. They cater to the coaches’ needs.

Sometimes, hosts know their designated junior college team close enough to have friends or acquaintances within the community. For instance, Reilly knows some people in the Hutchinson community who can help him out and he knows Blue Dragons coach Steve Eck well.

Because of his connections with Trinity Catholic, Reilly got to schedule a Blue Dragon practice for Tuesday night in advance, if the Blue Dragons were to win that afternoon against Cape Fear. Since they did win, they got to go over plays in preparation for Wednesday night’s game against Florida SouthWestern.

Reilly mentioned that he hasn’t gotten to host HutchCC until this year, and he is excited he is on the Blue Dragons’ bench this season.

“I’ve worked as a host for about 13 years,” Reilly said.

He has been through this several times and said that he always looks forward to basketball season. That is how he got his job in the first place. He said that he was asked in 2006 if he would be willing to become a host since he was a well-known basketball fan.

Since then, he has enjoyed the experiences he has had with the teams he hosted so far.

What we’re doing about the allegations against football coach Rion Rhoades

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

A statement from Collegian advisor Brad Hallier: We are aware of the allegations surrounding the Hutchinson Community College football team and coach Rion Rhoades, and players not showing up for practice, from other media reports. After much discussion with students, we felt we should address how the student journalists are handling the situation.

We want to emphasize that we are not sweeping this story under the rug or hoping it goes away. However, the Collegian also has a policy of not using anonymous sources, unless there’s a perceived threat of physical safety, like in the case of a rape victim going public with a story. In that case, we would protect the victim’s identity.

This does not mean we think the story is false or incorrect. It means we want something concrete before we report it.

Another reason The Collegian has this policy is because of the lack of trust between the public and the media, which seems to be at an all-time high.

Student reporters have contacted football players, and so far, none has been willing to talk to us on the record. We respect that decision.

Many news outlets have policies regarding the use of anonymous sources. Our policy is not better than another’s, and it’s not worse. This is how we choose to handle anonymous sources.

We would like to encourage any football player, or any person who has first-hand knowledge of what was said and what happened to please call me at 620-665-3427, or email me at hallierb@hutchcc.edu.

Eck-cellent start for defending champion Blue Dragons

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

Hutchinson Community College’s Kai Mitchell goes up for two points during Tuesday’s NJCAA Tournament opener against Cape Fear. The Blue Dragons won and advanced to the second round Wednesday.

By Lucas Barlow
Sports Editor

Repeating as NJCAA national champions is no easy feat, and hasn’t been done since

2003-2004 when Southeastern Iowa did it.

The defending men’s basketball champions, 11th-seed Hutchinson Community College, will have to win five straight games in order to manage that feat. However, the Blue Dragons are off to a good start. In their first ever meeting against 22nd- seed Cape Fear Community College, the Blue Dragons routed the Sea Devils in the opening

Round of the NJCAA Division 1 Men’s Championship on Tuesday afternoon, 84-60, at the Sports Arena.

The game was tight for most of the first half, with Hutchinson only leading by two at halftime. However, the second half belonged to Hutchinson, which flexed their scoring ability.

The game was already decided minutes in the second half, after the Blue Dragons went up by double digits. From their, they didn’t look back. The trio of Devonte Bandoo, J.J. Rhymes, and Robert Whitfield scored 30 of the Blue Dragons 52 second half points. Hutchinson shot 45.1 percemnt from the field, while holding Cape Fear to just 30.6 percent.

Ryhmes led all scorers with 19 points.

With the win on Tuesday, Blue Dragons coach Steve Eck becomes the winningest coach in Blue Dragon history, earning his 260th victory. He surpassed Charles Sesher who coached Hutchinson through the 1930-57 seasons.

“This national tournament is all about the players,” Eck said. “It’s not about me at all, but rather the players competing and enjoying it.”