ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF)–Things have quieted down at Rock Valley College in recent weeks with summer here, but the enthusiasm level got cranked back up Tuesday thanks to the women’s softball team.
A celebration was held for the players and coaches at RVC’s Student Atrium. This has become an annual event. The Golden Eagles recently won their eighth consecutive national championship at the NJCAA Division III level. They posted a season record of 48-11. Many of those games were played against Division II and even Division I opponents.
All eight championship trophies were displayed during the celebration. The bar is set high at Rock Valley and these young women hit it once again.
“When it (the season) ended everyone was like, oh this is so sweet, but now you sit back and you think about it, and it’s just so special that you’ve got to celebrate it with everyone here,” said shortstop Kelli Riordan.
“It’s meant a lot since it’s been my dream since I was little and first touched a softball,” said freshman pitcher Madison Carlson of South Beloit. “I mean I’m satisfied that we got it, but I’m not satisfied because we still have another year to get another one.”
Co-Head Coach Darin Monroe was proud of his girls. “At the beginning of the fall we always talk about if you commit to each other and you commit to the team, and you stay humble and stay motivated that great things are going to happen.”
Every team has its own personality, it’s own identity, but what’s the common thread here through all of the great teams at RVC?
“Culture,” said Monroe. “Culture is important. I tell our team all the time that really we’ve won eight straight national championships, but I felt that we were the most talented team in the country twice. The other six years we were tougher, and we had better culture than anybody else in the tournament and we fund ways to win.”
Next year the Golden Eagles will go after their first Division II national championship since most of the sports programs at RVC will be moving up a level. 12 of the 22 players on this year’s team will be returning.