Monthly Archives: October 2008

Still in high school, Williams, Manning, are playing for Richland College women's soccer team

By Justin Jones

Sports Information Coordinator

Richland College


     For student athletes, playing on the collegiate level while juggling a heavy academic load isn’t as easy as it appears. But imagine if you were 16 or 17 years old and had the daunting challenge of not only attending college as a high school student but also playing collegiate soccer.


Meet Julie Williams and Lauren Manning. Both are Garland natives and play soccer for Richland College while attending Richland Collegiate High School (RCHS).


RCHS, housed on the Richland College campus, allows students to complete their last two years of high school by taking college courses and earning college credits with a focus on mathematics, science and engineering.


“I don’t know of any other team that has one high school student but I doubt that there is any team with two,” Richland College women’s soccer coach Scott Toups said. “Both players have been just huge for us this year. It’s a unique program that Richland offers.”


And while they may still be in high school, Toups doesn’t treat them any differently, even if Williams’ and Manning’s teammates were caught by surprise when they found out that two of their teammates were in high school.


“I think it took the team by surprise at first. The older players may joke and sometimes give them a hard time about still being in high school but they are treated just like the rest of the girls. The two of them also work just as hard.”


That hard work has paid off for Richland College, too, as the T-Ducks have a 9-4-2 overall and 7-0 conference record as of Oct. 9.


“Julie stepping up and playing goalie for us is huge. For her to have come in and play goalie, she’s been outstanding,” Toups said. “Lauren was on pace to lead or be second on the team in points before her injury but she’ll be back.”


Williams has excelled at the goalie position since taking over after the starting keeper broke her hand, while Manning, despite recovering from an injury of her own that has forced her to miss some games recently, is among the team’s leading scorers with 12 points (as of Oct. 9).


During the week of Sept. 21-27, Williams’ play was so good that she was named Nation Junior College Athletic Association Division III Player of the Week after she recorded two shutouts and recorded 15 saves on 15 shots.


“It’s been fun to play with Lauren. Knowing that you have somebody else to share your experiences with is good,” Williams said. “Not everybody knows what we have to go through every day.”


Aside from playing soccer, Williams and Manning have the challenge of attending RCHS, a unique charter school designed to provide a “rigorous academic experience” for up to 200 high school juniors and 200 seniors from Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Kaufman, Rockwall, and Tarrant counties.


By the time Williams and Manning graduate from RCHS, not only will they get their high school diploma but they could also graduate with an associate’s degree, ready to transfer to a university as a college junior.


“The high school is doing its job, and is bringing in good kids,” Toups said. “Both Julie and Lauren have very good GPAs and are in great standing with the high school. I’ve talked to several of their professors and everyone seems to speak highly of them, and that’s more of a reflection on the Richland Collegiate High School and Richland College.”


To learn more about RCHS, call 972-761-6888 or visit .


Volleyball team falls to North Lake College

The volleyball team’s three-game Metro Athletic Conference winning streak came to an end Monday at home, but not without a fight first.


In a competitive match, the T-Ducks lost to North Lake College in five games, 23-25, 25-23, 23-25, 25-18, 12-15.


Rhonda Ivey and Amanda White finished the match with season-highs of 30 assists and 17 kills, respectively, while Jocelyn Brown tied her season-high in digs with 25.


Richland’s next home match is on Oct. 16 against Cedar Valley College.  

Women's soccer team remains unbeaten in conference action

With its 3-1 victory over Brookhaven on Tuesday, the Richland College women’s soccer team remained unbeaten in Metro Athletic Conference play with a 7-0 record.


Overall, the T-Ducks have outscored its conference opponents 23-3 and have posted four shutouts.


Richland, which is currently ranked No. 6 in the NJCAA D3 poll, is 9-4-2 on the season.


The T-Ducks will hit the road for their next two games, traveling to Mountain View on Friday and Tyler Junior College on Saturday.

Early tough schedule now paying off for Richland College volleyball team

A tough non-conference schedule to start the season for the Richland College volleyball team, which has played seven National Junior College Athletic Association Division I teams and one NJCAA Division II squad, is now paying off in a huge way for the T-Ducks.

Richland is currently 3-1 in Metro Athletic Conference play, having won its last three league matches.

After falling to Brookhaven College, the No. 1-ranked NJCAA Division III team, the T-Ducks have beaten the Cedar Valley, Eastfield and Mountain View colleges.

Arguably more impressive is the fact that Richland didn’t drop a game in any of these conference matches – a strong sign that the young team is growing.

In this week’s games versus Eastfield and Mountain View, T-Ducks setter Rhonda Ivey combined for 41 assists, libero Jocelyn Brown totaled 31 digs and middle blocker Amanda White finished with 23 kills.

Richland will take a brief break from conference action when head coach Zelda Smith’s team travels to Corsicanna on Saturday for a tri-match before resuming conference play at 7 p.m. on Monday at North Lake College.

Congratulations Julie Williams for being named NJCAA D-III Player of the Week

Richland College’s Julie Williams was named National Junior College Athletic Association Division III women’s soccer Player of the Week on Wednesday, Oct. 1 for all games played from Sept. 21-27.

Williams, a Garland native, recorded two shutouts – both T-Duck victories – last week. In both victories, Williams combined to record 15 saves on 15 shots as Richland beat Mountain View College, 3-0, and Cedar Valley College, 2-0.

In the five games since taking over as the goalie after the starting keeper was injured prior to receiving the award on Oct. 1, Williams had three shutouts.

“Julie has really stepped up for us,” T-Duck coach Scott Toups said recently. “She is playing well.”

DID YOU KNOW: Williams is currently a senior at Richland Collegiate High School but is also enrolled as a full-time student at Richland College.

In the coming weeks, look for a feature article on  the ThunderSports page about Julie and fellow classmate Lauren Manning playing on the Richland College women’s soccer team as Richland Collegiate High School students.