Cloud County Community College Announces Homecoming Candidates

Cloud County Community College 2018 homecoming activities will conclude Saturday, Feb. 17, with men’s and women’s basketball games and the crowning of the homecoming king and queen.

College faculty, staff and students will be casting their votes throughout the week to select the winners.

On Saturday, the Thunderbirds will play host to Barton County Community College in Arley Bryant Gymnasium. The women will tip off at 6 p.m. The crowning of the CCCC king and queen will take place prior to the start of the men’s game at 8 p.m.

In addition to the homecoming crowning activities, the 2018 Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place during halftime of the men’s game. Three members will make up the 12th class of Hall of Fame inductees: Gene “Speed” Williams, Kelly Ross and Kathleen (Apolzer) Powers.

Williams attended Cloud from 1969-1971 and competed in baseball, basketball, soccer, and track and field. His list of athletic accomplishments included earning First-Team All-Conference honors in baseball his sophomore season, helping the soccer program to its first Region VI playoff game in 1970, qualifying for the NJCAA Nationals in the 100-yard dash and the triple jump, and helping the basketball team to a pair of 20-win seasons.

Ross, a soccer star at Cloud from 1985-1987, became the first NJCAA All-American in Cloud’s history as a sophomore. During the 1985-1986 season, Cloud won the program’s first Region VI championship and finished as the Midwest District runner-up. Ross was named an All-Midwest District selection that fall as a freshman.

On the softball field, Powers was a First-Team All-Region selection in 1994 and 1995. She batted .459 and drove in 34 runs her sophomore season. She went on to play softball at Emporia State where, in 1996, she was a part of the first ESU team to ever advance to the NCAA Tournament. She and her teammates were inducted into the Emporia State Athletics Hall of Fame last year.

Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.