FRC women’s soccer player Melissa Kalbfleisch signs a contract with Prairie View A&M with her current coach Don Williams on Feb. 19. Kalbfleisch is one of the last members of her team to sign with a four-year university, as every eligible player received at least one athletic scholarship offer. Photo by Toni Williams
Two more women who play soccer at Feather River College accepted substantial scholarship offers from four-year universities.
Melissa Kalbfleisch, originally from Reno, signed with Division I school Prairie View A&M on Feb. 19. Prairie View A&M is a historically black university that is Texas’ second-oldest public institution of higher education.
Abe García, the head coach for the women’s soccer team at Prairie View A&M, said he signed Kalbfleisch the moment he had a chance.
“Melissa is a physical, technical player that is able to maintain the ball under pressure,” said García. “I think she will be able to bring those skills here and contribute right away to our program. We are glad to have her come play for us.”
Naomi Feltham from London accepted a full-ride athletic scholarship offer from Montreat College in North Carolina. Montreat is an NAIA school, and its soccer program follows a different set of rules than NCAA schools.
The NAIA is made up mainly of private schools that invest a lot of money into its athletic programs. The result is some of the best players in the world play at these schools. Montreat won its conference last year, which attracted Feltham to the school.
“(Feltham) checked it out and really liked what she saw,” said FRC’s head men’s and women’s soccer coach Don Williams.
Each eligible member of the FRC women’s soccer team was offered at least one scholarship. All players but one have already signed with the schools they will attend next year. Kali Fallow is still undecided.
“(Fallow) is just looking for her next home,” Williams said. “She’s checked out some other schools, but they just didn’t feel like home.”
Fallow is mainly interested in a Division II school in New York named Nyack. Nyack flew Fallow to New York for a visit, and seems intent on getting her on board.
Williams’ main goal since he took the coaching position at FRC was to build the soccer program up to attract four-year universities. This is the first year in which every eligible player received at least one offer.
Part of what attracted Williams to Feather River was the level of academic support that each player receives.
“The reason I came here was because there is an opportunity to change families’ and young men and women’s lives,” explained Williams. “All our sports programs here at FRC are unusual for a community college. For example, all players are required to have study hall as a class.”
Feather River’s athletic programs emphasize academics as much as athletics. In addition to study hall, each class at the college has tutors available for help. The high level of academic resources are one of the main aspects that attracted Williams to FRC.
Another way the soccer program attracts the attention of four-year universities is by playing a unique spring season. FRC doesn’t play any other community colleges in its non-traditional season, strictly four year universities. This gives FRC’s players great exposure to schools that are looking to recruit.
FRC’s men’s and women’s soccer teams will travel to Notre Dame De Nemur, a Division II school in the Silicon Valley, on March 24. The women’s team will then take on Cal State Monterey and Cal State East Bay in a doubleheader April 6.
The men’s team will play Cal State Stanislaus, the Division II state champions, April 13. In the final game of the non-traditional season, the women’s team will go up against Chico State on April 19. All games are away games.