Rock Valley sends four off to D1 schools
Rock Valley College's athletic programs claimed two NJCAA Division III national championships this past year and compiled a 171-64-4 record among its seven sports.
Perhaps more importantly, as a community college, it helped 30 players get enough experience and attention to continue their athletic or training careers at four-year insitutions.
That includes four players - Tierra McGowan, Olivia Fleuhr, Kelsie Packard and Nate Washington - who signed scholarships to compete at the NCAA Division 1 level.
McGowan was the Division III Junior College Player of the Year for the national champion women's basketball team. The 6-4 McGowan averaged 20.7 points and 14.1 rebounds for the Golden Eagles. She will play for Morehead State this upcoming season.
Fleuhr and Packard were the dominant pitchers for Rock Valley's fourth consecutive Division III softball title. Fleuhr, a Machesney Park Harlem graduate, led all of D3 in hits (82) and runs batted in (91) with 10 home runs. As a pitcher, she was 21-1 this season and 43-5 over two years at RVC. Fleur will play for the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Packard is a Beloit (Wis.) Turner graduate who was a perfect 23-0 this past season for RVC with 209 strikeouts. She signed with Valparaiso.
Nate Washington, a Loves Park native who went to Boylan, will play baseball for Illinois State after hitting .395 this past season for the Golden Eagles. His 28 stolen bases in 40 games was third in Division III.
For the complete list of athletes moving on, click here.