New era in athletics for D&E

Davis & Elkins College’s loss to Fairmont State on Thursday not only signaled the end of the baseball season but a new era in athletics at the school.

The Senators said goodbye to the West Virginia Conference after falling in the postseason tourney. D&E will start competing in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference in the fall.

“It really was sad thinking we’re not going to be in the WVIAC after the game ended,” Senator coach Ronnie Palmer said. “I played in the WVIAC when I was in college and have coached in the conference the past six years.

“I have a lot of fond memories of the league. I was just hoping to win a WVIAC title before we went to a new conference.”

Palmer, who also serves as the director of athletics at D&E, is looking forward to the new league, though.

“It will be exciting for our players to go against different teams,” he said. “We’ll also travel to some different places and venues.”

Current members in the G-MAC include Cedarville University, Central State University, Kentucky Wesleyan, Trevecca Nazarene University, Urbana University, Ursuline College, the University of Virginia-Wise and Georgetown College, which was a provisional member in 2012-13.

Along with D&E, Alderson-Broaddus, Salem International and Ohio Valley will be the new members.

On the field, Palmer also is optimistic about the future of his team.

“We have good group coming back,” he said. “We have some spots to fill in the outfield, but I think we’ll be fine.”

The Senators finished with a 26-20 record, their third winning season over the past four years.

“We had a lot of bright spots this year,” Palmer said. “I think the program is in a good position right now and the foundation to win is there.”