Contact: Debra Dennis;
For immediate release — Dec. 9, 2021
(DALLAS) — Dallas College athletes are being celebrated for their elite status. On Tuesday, the Dallas College Board of Trustees paid tribute to the hard work displayed by two groups of winning Dallas College teams.
The Richland men’s soccer team are the only NJCAA DIII team in any sport to win four titles in a row. The Thunderducks’ head coach, Raul Herrera, also played for Richland during his college years. He said the team, frustrated by the limits COVID-19 placed on last year’s season, stuck to their goals and training, and relied on each other to come up with last month’s win.
“I told them, try to have a good attitude and focus on what you control,” Herrera told the board of trustees during Tuesday’s regular board meeting. “These guys for a few days didn’t have a season, and it was a limited season where recruiting was limited, and it was frustrating after a historic run the year before.
“They stuck it out, and we’re getting the fruits from that. I told the guys not to brag. Stay humble. Let everybody else praise you and support you. Fortunately, for whatever reason, we haven’t had a time to praise them and brag. But now, I feel we should appreciate them and brag a little,” said Herrera.
The Dallas College Board of Trustees and other college leaders celebrated the Brookhaven Lady Bears soccer team's national championship.
The board also recognized the Brookhaven Campus women’s soccer team for their winning season. Last month, the Brookhaven Lady Bears clinched their third NJCAA DIII Women’s Soccer Championship in five years. Led by head coach Jimmy Elder, the Lady Bears defeated No. 1 seed Delta College to become national champions.
“We love these kids and look for the best talent in the area. And we bring them in and mentor them off and on the field. If you’re going to be a good soccer player, you have to be a good person and student,” Elder said.
“It just doesn’t work out otherwise. So right from the beginning, we’re talking about their academics and studies and discipline and getting to practice,” said Elder, adding that most of the students work in addition to attending school. “I’m talking 20-30 hours a week, some 40 hours a week. We schedule practice at 6:30 in the morning because that’s when they wanted it, because that way they can go to work and do their school (work) and survive. It’s phenomenal. I didn’t have to do that as a young soccer player, so when I look at these kids, I’m totally amazed.”
Sadiaa Jones, athletic director for Dallas College, said that coming out of a pandemic year was challenging for some athletes. However, the students remained dedicated — not only to their teammates, but to their coaches and to Dallas College.
“I’m very proud that not only do these student athletes represent themselves well in our community, but they go out and represent us on the national stage,” Jones said.
Dr. Beatriz Joseph, vice chancellor of student success at Dallas College, applauded the students and the coaches for their successful seasons.
“The reality is sports are an important vehicle to engage students,” Dr. Joseph said. “They worked hard. They are great students, and they are great athletes. This is their dream. We talk about transforming communities. This is what that means. We support their dreams. We are dream makers.“
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