The champs are home, T-Ducks get their rings

The Richland men’s soccer team was officially awarded their national championship rings Thursday for a record-breaking season. The Thunderducks went undefeated in 19 games on their way to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) championship game in Herkimer, N.Y., last November.

The team’s forward, Joshua Peoquin, expressed joy after getting his ring.

“I feel wonderful, humble to be a part of this experience. It is an awesome time to get a ring like this and to be labeled a national champion. It’s an unbelievable feeling,” said Peoquin.

Richland’s college president, coaches, family, friends and top representatives from business services attended the event.

Richland College President Dr. Kay Eggleston said, “You have represented us so admirably both on the field and in the classroom throughout this entire session along your national championship journey. This level of success gives new meaning to the term goal completion.” 

The guest speaker and Richland alumnus, Bruce Kennedy, was part of the basketball national championship-winning team in 2009. He congratulated the team on being disciplined, committed and dedicated to their craft. He urged them to carry the lessons they learned at Richland in their college careers and ultimately in life. 

“Winning this ring is not just a symbol of this year, but it’s a symbol for the rest of your life. It is a symbol that you know you can accomplish things that people won’t think you can have,” said Kennedy 

Coach Sean Worley said, “This particular team learned lessons on their own. These lessons that we’ve learned from two years ago until today, this is the foundation of life’s success. These boys are going to move up and move on and succeed. These are lifelong memories, I really appreciate those guys teaching me to be a better coach.”