MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (WHNT) — For the first time since 2008, there will be cross-country teams at Northwest-Shoals Community College (NW-SCC).

NW-SCC brought sports back for the first time in more than a decade earlier this year, launching new baseball and softball programs. Taylor Franks, the college’s athletics director, told News 19 they’re excited to bring even more student-athletes to campus.

“Cross-country has gained a lot of momentum,” Franks said. “We have a lot of high schools that have very good programs, and we’re excited that we’ll be able to offer something to those student-athletes.”

NW-SCC will have teams for men and women, but both will be coached under one staff. Each team will have five scholarships available for their runners.

Dean Myrick, commissioner of the Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC), said in a news release, “It’s great to have Northwest-Shoals continue to grow in athletics.”

“The conference has seen cross-country grow tremendously over the past few years,” Myrick continued. “It is a lifelong sport that continues to prosper from zero to three to eight in 2022 to now 13 teams in the fall of 2023.”

Both cross-country teams are expected to begin their inaugural season next fall.