The Richland College men’s soccer team, the 2018 national champions, traveled to Herkimer, NY, this past weekend to participate in the 2019 NJCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Championship. Despite cold and sometimes snowy weather conditions throughout the weekend, the Thunderducks prevailed and competed in the championship game Nov. 17 against home team Herkimer College, emerging victorious with a 2-1 victory and an eighth national championship.
This title is the first for Richland College head coach Raul Herrera, a former assistant coach who stepped into the role midseason when former head coach Sean Worley retired. Herrera is also a Richland College alumnus and was the starting goalkeeper on the 2006 national championship team.
The championship game started with an opening score by Toi Yamaoka, assisted by forward Takayoshi Wyatt. The score stayed 1-0 until the 76th minute of the game, when Herkimer player Mupenzi Irakiza had a game-tying score. Despite the Herkimer Generals dominating play for the final 15 minutes of the game, the Thunderducks scored on a successful penalty kick by Alvara Tudanca with just two seconds left, clinching the title and ending the season undefeated, with an overall record of 18-0-1.
The championship tournament began Thursday, Nov. 14, with Richland winning 4-0 against Sussex County Community College in the quarterfinals. During the semifinal round Nov. 15, Richland cruised to a 5-0 victory against Genesee Community College, which secured their spot in the title game. This was the third time that Richland and Herkimer have competed against each other for the national championship.
Richland defender Mariano Fazio was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, and Wyatt was named Most Valuable Offensive Player. Herrera received Coach of the Tournament honors. In addition, Richland players Sergio Baena and Henry Sach were named to the All-Tournament Team.
Richland College has won the men’s soccer national championship in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2018 and now 2019. A ring ceremony to honor the 2019 team will be scheduled this coming spring.
For a recap of the 2019 championship, visit https://www.njcaa.org/sports/msoc/2019-20/div3/national_championship/championship_recap. Additional information about the Richland College men’s soccer team is available at https://www.richlandcollege.edu/sliferlc/athletics/mensoccer/pages/default.aspx.
Congratulations to Richland basketball player Caleb Williams, who was recently named First Team National Junior College Athletic Association All-American! Caleb has played guard on the men’s basketball team under Coach Jon Havens for two years. For the 2018-19 season, he averaged 19.9 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.4 steals per game.
“Perseverance,” said Jon, when asked to describe one thing that sticks out to him about Caleb. “Caleb lost his memory after taking a hit in football his senior year of high school, and he had to re-learn most everything. He had to red-shirt and not play basketball his first year out of high school. He then transferred to Richland and has maintained a 3.0 GPA while here. He went from a player that averaged 8 points per game as a freshman to a player that averaged 19.9 points and 8.5 rebounds during his sophomore season, leading his team to a Region Championship and third place finish in the nation.”
After graduating with his associate degree from Richland this May, Caleb will attend East Central University in Ada, OK, on a full athletic scholarship in the fall. He will be majoring in kinesiology with the hopes of becoming a physical therapist after graduation.
The Richland College men’s and women’s soccer teams won their respective National Junior College Athletic Association Division III National Championships last weekend, marking only the third time in NJCAA Division III history that a school has won the men’s and women’s national titles in the same year–records also held by Richland College in 2004 and 2006.
The men’s team traveled to Herkimer, NY, where they defeated Sussex 4-0 on Nov. 8, Genesee 7-3 on Nov. 9 and Nassau 6-1 on Nov. 11. This final win gave the men’s team their seventh national title. Their final 6-1 score against Nassau was also the largest margin of victory in a Division III championship match in NJCAA history.
The women’s team traveled to Rockford, Ill., where they defeated Holyoke 9-0 on Nov. 8, Brookdale 5-1 on Nov. 9 and Delta 1-0 on Nov. 11. This is the women’s team’s fourth national title.
Mohamed Sesay, men’s forward, was named the Tournament MVP after scoring five goals and recording an assist during the span of three games. Sesay and Mariano Fazio, defender, and Lucio Martinez, midfielder, earned spots on the All-Tournament Team. In addition, Coach Sean Worley was named Coach of the Tournament.
Miranda Ibarra, women’s defender, was named Tournament MVP, Eva Mulligan was named Offensive MVP and Dynastee Cain was named Defensive MVP. Additionally, forward Asia Revelry was named to the All-Tournament Team and Coach Scott Toups was named Coach of the Tournament.
Both Richland College men’s and women’s soccer teams have winning reputations and have traveled across the country to play in exhibition and postseason games in places like California, Kansas, New York, Chicago, New Jersey and Missouri. The men’s team has seven national championships from 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2016 and 2018. For more information, visit www.richlandcollege.edu/sliferlc/athletics/mensoccer/pages/default.aspx. The women’s team has four national championships from 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2018. For more information, visit www.richlandcollege.edu/sliferlc/athletics/womensoccer/pages/default.aspx.
Shooting hoops and chasing dreams are what Tony Bishop, Jr. does best. This former Richland College Thunderduck is making a name for himself in the basketball world, as he has recently played with the Panama National Team and Denmark’s Bakken Bears in several countries internationally.
Bishop competed as part of the Panama National Team in the FIBA AmeriCup in Montevideo, Uruguay on Aug. 28-30. The FIBA AmeriCup is a men’s basketball tournament that brings together the best 12 national teams across North and South America. The Panama team competed in Group C with the Dominican Republic, United States and Uruguay teams. Other teams present in the tournament were Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Puerto Rico in Group A and Argentina, Canada, U.S. Virgin Islands and Venezuela in Group B.
Although Panama finished last in the tournament, Bishop came in sixth out of 125 players for most points per game. The 28-year-old, 6’ 7” power forward finished the tournament with 16.3 points per game, 49 total points, had 20 rebounds, made 3 steals and blocked 2 shots. He was also featured on the Top 10 Plays on ESPN on August 29.
After the FIBA AmeriCup, Bishop played with Denmark’s team, the Bakken Bears, in qualifying rounds for the FIBA 2018 Basketball Champions League. The Bears won 80-78 in the first round against Donar Groningen in Groningen, Netherlands, but lost 83-91 in the second round in Risskov, Denmark.
Before he began competing in international competitions, Bishop played basketball as a Richland College Thunderduck from 2007 to 2009.
“Slim, as he is known to those close to him, was a very motivated player while at Richland College,” said Jon Felmet, former Richland College head basketball coach. “When I recruited him in 2007, he told me where he wanted to end up, and I told him what he would need to do to get there. Since his time at Richland, he has continued to be a hard worker and a role model for his son and the kids in the Garland community. He puts in countless hours of weight workouts and skill development to continue to perfect his craft. He is one of the most successful student athletes to come out of Richland College.”
In 2009, Bishop helped lead the Thunderducks to win the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III men’s basketball title.
“I enjoyed my time at Richland College because of the brotherhood that was started with the guys,” said Bishop. “When we said ‘One Family, One Goal’ we really meant that! Still to this day, the coaching staff and players will always be brothers that came together to accomplish the ultimate goal – a national championship!”
While at Richland College, he was voted Metro Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year in 2007-08, NJCAA Honorable Mention All-American in 2007-08, Metro Athletic Conference Player of the Year in 2008-09, NCJAA Division III Player of the Year 2008-09 and NJCAA Division III National Champion. He also received a full athletic scholarship to Texas State University, where he ended up being a Southland Conference All-Conference Player.
“Slim was one of many players of the 2009 National Championship team that have gone on to do great things with their lives,” added Felmet. “He recently held a free youth camp in the city of Garland for more than 50 young basketball players, and he continues to give back. He is humble and hasn’t forgotten his roots. Also, he recently launched a clothing line ‘Eat or Get Ate,’ a phrase that he coined and lived by while at Richland College.”
Ready to catch Bishop in action? The Bakken Bears will be playing in the regular season of the FIBA Europe Cup, running now through May 2, 2018. For more information, visit fiba.basketball/europecup/17-18.
Richland College Thunderduck men’s basketball team is currently coached by Jon Havens. The team has won the NJCAA Division III National Championship title three times—in 2015, 2009 and 1999. For more information, visit richlandcollege.edu/basketball.