With another successful season under its belt, the Feather River College soccer teams are now focused on something else: the players’ futures.
The men’s team finished first in the Golden Valley Conference, going undefeated in conference play with only one tie. The women’s team finished second in the conference with two wins, two losses and two ties.
Many FRC players made the all-conference team this year. For the second year in a row FRC had more players than any other school in the conference make the cut.
The conference’s offensive player of the year was FRC’s Seon Ripley. Similarly, the Eagles’ Oliver Hitch was named defensive player of the year. Naomi Feltham, of the women’s team, won defensive player of the year as well.
Abel Islas, Alan Castro, Adrian Iniguez, Douglas Williamson and Joe O’Neill all made the all-conference team. For the women’s team, Melissa Kalbfleisch, Grace Pedroza and Korey Cline all made the all-conference team.
Sophomores from both teams attended the California Community College Sophomore Showcase at Mt. San Antonio College in eastern Los Angeles on Dec. 1 with great results. Multiple scholarship offers poured out from four-year universities to FRC players.
“All in all, I’m guessing we have about half a million dollars in scholarships offered to us,” said FRC’s coach, Don Williams. “That is, the scholarships my players plan to take will equal around that. More than a half million dollars in offers have come in, however.”
Last year the women’s team was comprised fully of freshmen and the players were ineligible to transfer. This year, however, the team has several sophomores. Every sophomore on the team has at least one scholarship offer; most have multiple offers.
Quincy High School graduate and current FRC women’s team goalkeeper Korey Cline has more interest from recruiters than anyone else.
“(Cline) has worked very hard to learn and improve,” said Williams. “She has done an amazing job developing as a goalkeeper. She’s a very rare find and a lot of coaches recognize that.”
Cline received offers from several Division II schools and a couple Division I schools. At this point Cline is weighing her options while keeping an open mind.
Cline dominated the field at QHS and made the decision then to continue playing soccer through college. Williams met her and convinced her to play for FRC.
“(Williams) told me if I played for him he would get me out of here in two years,” said Cline. “I didn’t really believe him at the time. He has improved me so much from high school. He’s a great coach.”
What contributes to the program’s successful draw of scholarship offers is the academic excellence of the players. Williams started the program with the intention of attracting bright players.
“The answer isn’t strictly athletics,” explained Williams. “It’s really a combination of athletics and scholastics. The bottom line is that coaches from universities aren’t interested in players that can’t get it done academically as well.”
To transfer to most schools, a grade-point average of 2.5 is required. FRC’s men’s team has an average GPA of 2.8 and the women’s team a 3.3.
“We laid it out to the players from day one that if they want to go on to a four-year school they have to be serious in the classroom as well,” said Williams.
The teams’ players plan to take the next month to mull over their offers. Offers have come from Arkansas State, Wagner, Humboldt State, Cal State LA, UC Santa Barbara, Cal Poly and Cal State Bernardino, to name just a few.