---- — HAVERHILL — Northern Essex Community College has decided to put its women’s basketball season on hold this year, while it concentrates on recruiting for the 2014-15 season.
The college hired Brent Bass as its women’s basketball coach in July. With no returning players, he knew recruiting would be a challenge with a month to go before the new academic year.
“We’re going to take this year as a rebuilding year,” said Sue MacAvoy, the college’s athletic director.
According to MacAvoy, the athletic department has been reviewing women’s sports in general at Northern Essex, which have suffered from declining participation in recent years.
“We want to look at how we can raise awareness of women’s sports at Northern Essex and do a better job of recruiting female athletes,” said MacAvoy. “We recognize the constraints that many young women enrolled at Northern Essex must address before participating in athletics, but we’re optimistic that a full year of recruiting, promoting and community involvement will be able to bolster next year’s roster.
“There’s a lot of talent in the area,” said Bass, who coaches at all levels of Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball. “I’m confident that with a year to recruit, we can pull together a strong team.”
In order to participate in sports, athletes must be enrolled full-time at Northern Essex, taking 12 or more college credits. Sixty-four percent of the college’s 7400 students study part-time.