Tru Grit: Richland 'rasslin' and more

Both Richland’s men’s and women’s soccer teams are on their way to tournaments. The men’s team wrapped up the regular season taming the Mountain View Lions, 5-1. The Thunderducks remain on top in Division III at 11-2 overall, 4-0 in conference play. The Lady Thunderducks are also playing great soccer, ranked fourth in Division III, and they finished the season at 12-2-2 overall, 8-0-2 in conference play.

Congratulations also to the Richland women’s volleyball team on an outstanding season. A massive turnaround from 5-25 overall last season to 16-13 this season. The Thunderducks finished second at 6-4 in the Metro Athletic Conference behind Eastfield. They also dominated the Guadalupe Gym with a 10-3 home record. Volleyball coach Zelda Smith was pleased with the team’s outcome of the regular season. She said that the team has bloomed at the right time, strong on offense and defense. “Definitely a big improvement, learning how to finish a game and learn what it takes to win a game; it takes intensity the whole time. We got a lot of freshman on our team and we only have three sophomores. For these freshman to come in and be leaders on the court is outstanding,” Smith said. The Thunderducks clinched a first-round bye in the MAC tournament.

One of Richland’s proud and powerful athletic traditions is back. The wrestling program will make its regular season debut for the first time in 30 years. One of the wrestlin’ Thunderducks, Michael Basaldu, is looking forward to a good year after months of practice and building team chemistry. He said, “Our confidence level is good because we know what we got to do. Every day as we get closer to opening night, it gets higher and higher.” Wrestling coach Bill Neal said that they’re ready to compete against the big four-year schools. “Our team has a chip on their shoulders but they got something to prove, so it works in our favor in that respect and that’s a good thing for us. Our goal is to score the highest points to win the NCWA Division II national championship. We hope to take a lot of guys to the Nationals which will be held in Allen (March 2017) and to score enough points to sneak up and take that Division II championship,” said Neal. Richland’s first competition will be on Saturday Nov. 5 at UNT in Denton.

Richland men’s basketball team will tip off its 2016-17 campaign against Weatherford also on Saturday Nov. 5.

The Dallas Cowboys were 5-1 after winning their first game in Green Bay in eight years on Oct. 16. Although Dak Prescott threw an interception for the first time in his pro career, he set a new NFL record of 176 pass attempts without an interception in his rookie season surpassing Tom Brady.

This is a World Series in the making between the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs, two franchises that are on the verge of demolishing the curse once and for all. My prediction is that it will go to seven games. It’s been a great year so far in Cleveland as the Cavaliers look to defend their NBA title. Adding an Indians World Series title would really be a Sweet ’16! Meanwhile in the Windy City, White Sox fans are looking to see if their in-city rivals can bring a world championship home themselves. I don’t think a black cat and fan interference is going to stop the Cubs … this time.

In November, Arlington residents will vote on whether or not the Texas Rangers should move forward in building a new retractable roof stadium. Those who attend Ranger games let alone live in Arlington don’t like the idea of building another massive stadium using their tax money. They’re still dealing with the side effects of AT&T Stadium. Prices at Jerry’s World are just too high. Globe Life Park has become a North Texas institution and it’s only 22 years old. Is it necessary to build another stadium when the Rangers have already upgraded Globe Life Park several times in the last six years? Why didn’t they think of this back in the early ‘90s? They haven’t had this problem in their 44-year history. And if Arlington rejects the plan, will the Rangers leave Arlington for another North Texas town?