By Rob Potter
LOCH SHELDRAKE May 9, 2006 A day after finishing its first season after a two-decade hiatus, the Sullivan County Community College (SCCC) baseball team began its preparations for 2007.
Last Wednesday afternoon, Mike Prunka, a senior at Eldred Central School and a pitcher for the Yellowjackets baseball team, became the newest member of the Generals.
As a small group of people including SCCC Coach Mike Marra, SCCC Athletic Director Chris DePew, SCCC President Dr. Mamie Howard-Golladay and his parents Michael Sr. and Darnell Prunka gathered in the hallway near the admissions office for a brief ceremony. They watched quietly as the 18-year-old Glen Spey resident signed a letter of intent to attend SCCC this fall and join the Generals baseball team.
After signing the letter, Prunka was given a Sullivan Generals hat and jersey by Marra as everyone applauded.
We are very excited to welcome Mike Prunka to our program, Marra said. He is one of the best high school pitchers in Sullivan County. Mike will be a great addition to the team and we feel he will be able encourage other local athletes to stay here in the county to play baseball.
When asked what it was like to sign the letter, Prunka had a simple reply.
It was awesome, he said.
Prunka, who has been a member of the Yellowjackets varsity baseball team since his freshman year, noted that there were many reasons he decided to play his college baseball at SCCC.
Its close to home and its a [NJCAA] Division II school, he said. And Coach Marra has been to a few of our games this year. Hes a nice guy and a good coach.
I just want to play baseball, Prunka continued. I think that I can play well here and help make the team even better.
Prunka also said that he would like to see more of the local baseball players he knows continue their baseball careers at SCCC.
In the five games Eldred played before Prunka signed his letter of intent, he earned a complete-game victory and saved two other contests.
During the ceremony, DePew made a special announcement.
We are pleased to offer Mike Prunka a $1,000 scholarship through the colleges The Start of Something Great program, DePew said. This will help Mike with tuition and room and board costs. We would like to thank the Sullivan County Community College Foundation, President Golladay, Assistant to the President Cindy Bennedum-Kashan, the administration and trustees for allowing us to present this scholarship.