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The Sports Guy: National exposure great for Northwest College, Powell

Having worked in a university public relations office a decade ago before making my return to the sports scene, I’m all too familiar with the fact that those in higher education are always looking for all the positive publicity they can generate. Northwest College accomplished that feat in spades this past week.

Within the span of 48 hours, the Trappers’ athletic department announced that Powell was the home to not one, but two national players of the week for fall sports. Freshman outside hitter Ana Jakovljevic began the trend, earning NJCAA Division I volleyball national player of the week honors. The following day, Trapper women’s soccer coach Kaylin Olivas was celebrating the recognition of sophomore forward Samhia Simao as the Division I women’s soccer national player of the week.

For one week, the attention of Division I fall athletics was squarely focused upon the achievements of Powell. That’s the sort of publicity any school would kill for.

For the Trappers’ volleyball program, it follows a trend of national achievement. Northwest is only a couple seasons removed from its last national tournament appearance and has a pair of wins against top 20 opponents this season. The Trapper spikers also had a coach recognized at the national level by the American Volleyball Coaches Association not that long ago.

So in that regard, having a player receive national accolades during the regular season is just another statement of the high quality the Trappers’ volleyball program is accustomed to.

For the Trapper women’s soccer team, receiving national honors for a player is testimony that the young program continues on the rise. In only their third year of play and after defeating a top-10 opponent late last season, the Trappers can now add the accolade of having successfully captured the attention of those nationally who focus on junior college soccer.

For fans of Northwest College athletics and women’s athletics, the recognition of a pair of student-athletes can only be seen as a feather in the school’s cap and a testimony to the Trapper athletic department. For aspiring student-athletes, the message is equally clear — come to Powell, suit up for Northwest College, practice and play hard and you, too, can have the opportunity to be recognized as one of the nation’s top performers in your chosen sport.

Hats off to Northwest College athletics for the achievement. Keep up the good work and go Trappers.

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