Our Voice: Presentation College blessed with opportunities

Farm Forum

Presentation College has a new division, conference and opportunity.

The Saints have gone from National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Before, the Saints could not offer athletic scholarships.

Now they can. This should help enrollment numbers and retention, as well as up the talent level.

Presentation also joined Dakota State, Jamestown College, Mayville State and Valley City State in forming the North Star Athletic Association. This new conference, which will start this fall, is a great thing for the Saints in many ways:

• It has the potential to grow, as Dickinson State already has been invited to join in 2014-15.

• The teams in this conference are very familiar to sports fans in the Aberdeen area, which will create more interest.

• Also with that familiarity, it will be easy to create rivalries, which will again create even more fan interest.

• This will be a conference where many of its athletes are local. So fans will get to see how some of their favorite high schoolers perform in college.

• Being in a conference guarantees a team a set number of games, which helps in scheduling.

Presentation College did not play in a conference this season. It made for some heavy travel to fill out its schedules.

The Saints’ men’s basketball team played 17 of its 25 games on the road this season, traveling 11,038 miles.

There have been numerous ups and downs since Presentation started its athletics program in fall 1995.

This is definitely an up.

— American News editorial board