Neck injury doesn’t stop barrel racer

Despite the pain, Liley contributes selflessly to team, community

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Horsin’ around:

Jordan Liley introduces Strut to 2-year old Kaidence Fisher outside the LCCC Arena stables.

Tara Hutchison

The face of the typical 19-year-old-girl is not the same face as Jordan Liley. Liley is a student at Laramie County Community College majoring in health sciences.

Raised in the rural Wyoming town of Burns, Liley grew up with her parents, an older half-brother and two adopted sisters. She said she enjoys the outdoors and camping. She began her sports involvement early in life and continued playing basketball and track and field throughout high school.

Liley was a center for her basketball team and competed in every track event aside from distance, long-jump and the 100-meter dash.

In 2012, she had an accident while high-jumping at practice that caused her to limit the events that she could participate in. After landing wrong on her neck, Liley said that she laid on the mat for around 15-20 minutes until she was able to get up. She was not taken to a medical facility for X-rays, but she sat out and iced her neck. That began her three-year journey of finding out why she was having the pain.

Pain did not stop Liley from participating in sports, though. She continued to participate in the 400-meter, shot-put, discus, 300-meter hurdles, triple-jump and high-jump until the pain got to be too much.

It wasn’t until she saw a chiropractor in 2017 that she learned she had fractured her C7 vertebrae and spinus process. “The spinus process cannot be fixed. It could only be removed,” Liley said.

As a woman who could not be stopped, or slowed down, in high school, nothing changed when she started attending LCCC. Liley is an active member in the Student Government Association, participates on the rodeo team and is a full-time student.

Josh Petersen, an advisor for SGA, said, “Jordan takes an active role in SGA. She started in fall 2016, and in spring 2017 ran and was elected as secretary. She is at each executive meeting and at every senate meeting. Jordan has worked to develop relationships across SGA and is always willing to help when we ask for volunteers.”

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Profit vs. cost: How Athletics contributes

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Illustration by Floyd Whiting

When Laramie County Community College was facing a $2.5 million budget cut last semester, the Athletic Department was examined as a potential area in which to save money.

Financially, the Efficiency Committee, a group of LCCC faculty and staff who were tasked with making money-saving recommendations, reported the Athletic Department cost the college $1 million annually. But while athletics as a department may experience a financial loss, the department does contribute revenue back to the college while adding extra value, school officials say.

Rick Johnson, vice president for Administration and Finance, said the athletic department “in pure dollars, costs us more to have it all than the other way when just looking at dollars.”

Johnson also said, though, when evaluating the athletics department, the intangibles should also be considered. By having an athletics department or program at this school, Johnson said, there is a little bit of a draw for some students that might not otherwise want to be here.

In spring 2016, the LCCC Board of Trustees approved the reinstatement of the women’s basketball team. The addition brought 16 new students to campus who would not have otherwise considered choosing LCCC to further their education. Johnson said this increase in enrollment may contribute to an increase in the revenue seen in the Emporium, the LCCC Bookstore and other services provided on campus, in addition to contributing to an increased amount of state funding received from the Wyoming Community College Commission.

The WCCC currently provides funding to the seven Wyoming community colleges. The funding is calculated based on enrollment and program progression, with enrollment being the primary factor in determining how much each college receives. Johnson said the WCCC’s calculation model has changed since 2015 and will again be changing as the higher education models change.

“The model is changing so that it is measuring performance rather than headcount,” Johnson said.

In the 2015 fiscal year, the WCCC funding model showed the funding calculation was based 85 percent on the college’s enrollment and 15 percent on the students’ course completion. In the 2017 fiscal year, the funding calculation model was changed to mainly favor enrollment, but also give weight to participation, course completion and also the types of courses the college offers, such as distance education, traditional classrooms, highly technical, and laboratory courses.

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College Athletic Department players, coaches donate time to improve community relations

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Illustration by Floyd Whiting

The Athletics Department is an integral part of a community college because of the draw of public attention. The Laramie County Community College’s Athletics Department is actively trying to do just that.

In previous years, there was minimal interaction between the Golden Eagles and the Laramie County public, but with the guidance of Athletics Director Scott Noble and the newly instated Student Athlete Advisory Committee through Community Outreach, this is changing.

In February, Noble worked with the Cheyenne Rotary Club to raise money for the fight against polio. Noble said the proceeds from gate admissions at a double-header basketball game were given to the Rotary Club as a donation. Total proceeds totaled $1,283.

Along with the Rotary Club, the department has previously worked with the Comea Homeless shelter of Cheyenne and Cheyenne Frontier Days.

Noble said that he has spoken at different community events where he asked attendants how many times they had visited both LCCC and the University of Wyoming campuses for athletics.

“Out of 200 who work in community service, 195 of them had not been on our campus in the last five years,” Noble said. “Out of those 200, only six had not been on the UW campus for athletics.”

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First season highlighted by playoff appearance

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Court guards:

Kate Fiscus was a driving force for her team.

Cody Fox

The Laramie County Community College women’s basketball team secured a playoff bid Saturday, Feb. 25, with a 71-66 win over visiting Lamar Community College.

Cailyn Arnold led the team with 23 points and seven rebounds. Kate Fiscus had 12 points and pulled down six rebounds, adding to LCCC’s total of 45 rebounds.

The Golden Eagles are now 11-16 overall and finish Region IX play with a 5-9 record. The Golden Eagles secured a playoff spot in its first season of play in more than 20 years. After a rough start to the season, the Golden Eagles played hard during the second half of the season to earn the playoff spot. Arnold led the team with 12.4 points per game this season, followed by Madison Hamm with 10.3 points per game.

Earlier in the season, LCCC traveled to Trinidad, Colorado for a conference game against Trinidad State College on Friday, Feb. 10. Hamm recorded a big performance with 13 points and nine rebounds but it couldn’t put the Golden Eagles over the edge. The Golden Eagles shot an outstanding 64.3 percent from the free throw line and secured 33 rebounds. The final score was 51-45.

LCCC faced Otero Junior College on Saturday Feb. 11. At the start of the fourth quarter, Otero broke away to advance the lead to 20 points. The final score was 65-45. LCCC recorded 37 rebounds and Katelyn Smith added five. Mariah Sheets added four assists to the mix. Hamm and Darian Hale scored in double digits.

The Golden Eagles also lost to Western Nebraska on Tuesday, Feb. 14, and fell to 8-15 overall and 4-10 in conference play. The Golden Eagles couldn’t fill the gap once they were down 43-16 at halftime. The Cougars pressed and continued to pull ahead.

Arnold and Hamm led LCCC in points and rebounds. Arnold had a double-digit performance with 15 points and Hamm led with a team high of 9 rebounds. The Golden Eagles had a high free-throw percentage of 66.7 percent.

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Women’s basketball returns with hopes for Ws, dollars

Basketball team’s return increases revenue to College

Women's Basketball Roster

Since 1992, Laramie County Community College has been without a women’s basketball team. However, after a unanimous vote of approval from the LCCC Board of Trustees, plans were set in motion to bring the team back for the fall 2016 season.

Scott Noble, LCCC athletics director, said the women’s basketball program was planned before he was hired in May 2015.

Noble said LCCC’s strategic plan talks about student opportunity and transforming student lives in addition to distinguishing LCCC from other community colleges in the nation. Noble said he explained how he would look for administrative support to bring back women’s basketball in fall 2016.

In February, before the current budget cuts were necessary, a proposal for the plan to bring back the women’s basketball program was drawn up for review by the Board of Trustees. In the executive summary of the proposal, reasons were given why the program should be reinstated. Those reasons were to increase enrollment and to make LCCC a more visible institution locally, regionally and nationally.

Matt Petry, the deputy director and chief financial officer of the Wyoming Community College Commission, noted in the February 2016 project proposal “the addition of 18 students would have a positive financial impact for LCCC.” Petry also wrote in the proposal about a performance matrix that would take effect in fall 2017.

This matrix that rewards institutions based on “completers” who graduate with a certificate or diploma or who have transferable hours and continue their education at a four-year institution. In 2015, 85 percent of sophomore student-athletes graduated from LCCC.

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