It's been a long time since junior college football has been in the region, and it's returning. (former CBC standout Clint Didier scores for Redskins in NFL)

   Pacific Northwest Christian College will begin to play this fall

Pacific Northwest Christian College has a building on Clearwater across from Leskvar Motors, and next to GESA Credit union on Huntington Street, and now they're getting ready to hit the gridiron. The school, formerly known as Gather4Him, was first founded in 2007.

It's been a long time coming, but PNWCC has a 52-man roster and is coached by former Kennewick standout Bill Templeton, they will resume the tradition of junior college, or JUCO, football in our area, according to information from PNCC and KNDU-TV.

 CBC, once a perennial power, dropped football after 1981.

Columbia Basin College went 10-0 in 1978 and was crowned the National Junior College Champions. It just so happened that NFL players Mark Kafentzis (Richland) and Clint Didier (Connell) played there. Kafentzis went onto Hawaii and the NFL for 4 seasons mostly with the Colts, while Didier went on to get a couple of Super Bowl rings catching passes from Joe Theismann and scoring a TD vs. Denver in The Super Bowl after he set receiving records at Portland State University.

Clint Didier at CBC (NWACC.org)
Clint Didier at CBC (NWACC.org)
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However, due largely to costs, all of the junior colleges in our area dropped football, like dominos. CBC, Walla Walla, Wenatchee, Yakima Valley, Treasure Valley CC, perennial power Mt. Hood, and Spokane Falls CC--had done away with the sport over 40 years ago. Walla Walla was the lone long holdout, finally dropping football in 1997. (CBC football national champs 1978).

CBC national JUCO champs (NWACC.org-CBC Athletics)
CBC national JUCO champs (NWACC.org-CBC Athletics)
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   But now, JUCO football is back

Pacific Northwest Christian will play in the Scenic West Region 18 conference, it's part of the National Junior College Athletic Association. That's the JUCO version of the NCAA. They will play home games at Lampson Stadium and will be called the Gladiators.

Some of the teams in the league have long football traditions, namely Snow College and the College of Southern Idaho.  Other schools include the College of Southern Nevada, Colorado Western, Salt Lake CC, and Utah State University Eastern.  With the addition of PNWCC, there will be 9 teams in the league.

PNWCC is also assembling a men's soccer team, as they gradually build their programs.

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Junior colleges have been a place for athletes to achieve a degree and sharpen their skills, and hundreds nationally move on to finish at four-year schools at various NCAA Division levels.

To find out more about PNCC, click here. Their first home game will be on September 6th at Lampson.

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