The KC Rangers, one year after opening the season with four straight losses, have jumped out to a 2-0 record in 2012 with wins over Dodge City (Kan.) Community College and nationally-ranked, arch-rival Tyler.
KC 38, TJC 30
KC traveled to Tyler Sept. 8 to take on No. 13 TJC in their first of two meetings this season, and the 112th meeting between the two teams became an instant rivalry classic.
Getting his first start of the season was freshman quarterback Tanner Tausch, who was named Southwest Junior College Football Conference Offensive Player of the Week, completing 19 of 29 passes for 293 yards.
Tausch got going with a 55-yard pass to wide receiver Ed’Marques Batties, who took it in for the score. Tausch later hooked up with tight-end Steven Borden for a 20-yard scoring strike and Darrin Brown for a 68-yard touchdown. KC had a 21-0 advantage in the first quarter.
The three extra points came from kicker Dylan Nowak who later booted a 39-yard field goal.
Momentum switched to TJC in the second quarter, where the Apaches scored a pair of touchdowns to make the score 24-14 at halftime.
Starting the second half at quarterback was sophomore Emory Miller, who got into the scoring act quickly with a short touchdown run to put the Rangers on top 31-14.
Early in the fourth quarter, TJC cut the deficit to a touchdown (31-24), but with less than a minute remaining, a fumbled snap by the Apaches and a recovery and touchdown by KC’s Daniel Lopez extended Kilgore’s lead.
TJC responded with another touchdown from star quarterback Tyrik Rollison which cut the lead to eight points after the extra point failed.
To add to the drama, TJC recovered an onside kick, but the Apaches threw incomplete with eight seconds remaining (the receiver caught the ball but was unable to keep a foot inbounds.)
“A lot of mistakes, but by keeping and continuing to fight we found a way to ultimately win the football game,” said KC head coach J.J. Eckert.
KC 26, DODGE CITY 15
The Rangers started their winning streak by defeating Dodge City, 26-15 – the first KC win in the SWJCFC vs. Kansas Jayhawk Conference series since it began in 2006.
The KC defense played a major role in the win by letting Dodge City score only one offensive touchdown. Lopez also came up big for the Rangers, returning an interception for a score and recovering a fumble.
Also recovering fumbles were sophomore cornerback James Jones and defensive lineman DeAngelo Brooks.
On the offensive side of the ball, Miller threw for 136 yards and a touchdown, connecting with Batties five times, one for the score.
Tailback Karrion Morrisey gained 46 yards and contributed two rushing touchdowns.
It’s no secret that four-year universities are struggling to increase graduation rates, but the situation is even more dire at the nation’s community colleges.
Community colleges enroll more than one-half of students in higher education in Texas. In order to sustain and grow the economic base of the state and safeguard the well-being of its residents, community colleges will have to educate even more students.
“We believe finishing what we start has value,” said Dr. Bill Holda, KC president. “With KC’s involvement in Achieving the Dream and other success initiatives, we want to improve student success, and graduation is one of those ways.”
Community colleges are well-positioned to accomplish this goal because of their geographic accessibility to populations across the state, the relatively low cost of tuition and the close relationship these institutions have with area businesses and industries to train and retain the workforce.
“We are persons who experience interruptions in our lives; we are not always able to finish the baccalaureate degree,” Holda said. “In a society which measure titles and credentials, providing students with a title/credential is more powerful. If a student says ‘I have 60 hours from KC’ or ‘I have an Associate of Arts Degree from Kilgore College’ – Which statement has more long-term value to a student?”
While two-year colleges serve higher percentages of underrepresented students, not all students attending a community college do so with the intention of earning a degree.
“To be able to say, ‘I am a graduate of Kilgore College’ has more value than ‘I attended Kilgore College,’” Holda said.
KC’s push for for students to graduate this semester is creating a head start in the Achieving the Dream initiative.
“At the moment, graduation rates don’t affect funding; however, 10 percent of the future state funding will be related to a variety of success points, of which achieving a degree or certificate will be worth some value,” Holda said.
One hundred and fifty students have currently applied for Fall graduation.
Students who are eligible to receive a degree or certificate must complete an application by midnight Oct. 1.
Fall graduates must have completed all required courses or be enrolled in their remaining classes to be eligible for graduation.
Applications must be completed online through Campus Connect. Students will receive a confirmation of their graduation status by KC Ranger email once the application has been processed and degree audits have been received by advisers.
Students eligible for multiple certificates do not need to complete an additional application.
Students missing the Oct. 1 deadline can apply during the late application period.
Any student applying between Oct. 2- Oct. 31 will be required to pay a $75 application fee and any student applying between Nov. 1- Nov. 30 will be required to pay a $150 application fee. No applications will be accepted after Nov. 30.
Fall graduation will be held 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, in Dodson Auditorium.
“I would like for more of our students to be able to complete their degrees more quickly; however, when 50 percent of our students are attending part-time and many work full-time jobs, it is difficult to get through as quickly,” Holda said. “I would like to see more participation in achieving completion successes with higher graduation rates.”
BRITTANI PFAU Co-Executive Editor
Time is running out for Texans to vote in the Nov. 6 presedential election. Oct. 9 is the deadline to register. Voters who did not vote in the May 29 primary election are still qualified to vote in the general election. Early voting begins Oct. 22.
To register to vote, students must to fill out a voter’s registration application or register in person.
Students can register in person or register by mail by obtaining an application at their county voter registrar’s office. (In most Texas counties, the Tax Assessor-Collector is also the Voter Registrar. In some counties, the County Clerk or Elections Administrator registers voters.)
After being submitted by the county voter registrar, a student’s registration becomes effective 30 days after being submitted. A voter card will then be mailed to the voter who will need to sign by the “X” on the yellow area on the front side of the card.
Students will need to take this card with them to the polls to vote.
For more information about voting procedures, registration or absentee ballots, students can visit votexas.org.
Brittani Pfau and Ashton Johnson Co-Executive Editors
…that I could only drop a developmental class three times (27 hours).
Students who drop a developmental course three times, exceeding the 27-hour college career limit, will be charged an extra fee of $70 per semester hour.
…that I had to pay my fines before I can register for classes, receive a transcript or look at my grades.
Students who have library fines or unpaid KCPD parking fines are not eligible to register or look at grades after they have been posted.
…that I could take the leftover financial aid on my KC ID and transfer the money to my own bank account.
There is an ATM located in the Devall Student Center where students can withdraw money.
…that I could see what other students thought about teachers before I sign up for their classes.
Students can go to kilgore.edu and look under the catalog and schedules tab and scroll down to click on course syllabi, instructor vita and course evaluations to look up instructor ratings.
…that it would have been a good idea to put KCPD’s phone number in my cell phone.
Call KCPD at 903-983-8650 for help when you lock your keys in the car, when a car battery is dead or you need an escort to your car after night classes.
…that there was a nurse on campus.
Jeanette McFadden is the registered campus nurse. Her hours are from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday and her office is located in the Parks Fitness Center.
…that I could only drop six classes throughout my college career.
Students entering college for the first time since Fall 2007 are subject to Texas Senate Bill 1231 which limits students to a total of six drops in their entire college career at Texas public institutions. See student handbook Pages 5 and 6.
…that KCPD really will give me a ticket for not having a parking sticker or parking in staff parking.
Non-resident students should park anywhere there is an “S.” There is also KC designated parking off of Houston Street by the former Region VII Building. Parking stickers and vehicle registration papers can be picked up and filled out at the KC Police Station next to the Devall Student Center. The first sticker is free and any additional stickers are $5.
…that I should have had a receipt of enrollment with me for the first couple weeks of school.
Students can get a receipt of enrollment from the Cashier’s Office in the Devall Student Center. You will need a receipt of enrollment to get an ID, register for parking, buy books and show that classes have been paid.
…that if I had kept my grades up and had taken 12 coursework hours I could have been eligible for Phi Theta Kappa (national honor society for two-year colleges), Sigma Kappa Delta (English honor society), the KC Dean’s List or the President’s List.
To be eligible for PTK, a student must have completed at least 12 hours and must generally have a GPA of 3.5. In order to be eligible for SKD a student must maintain a GPA of 3.3 and earn no grade lower than a “B” in an English class and must have completed at least one semester of college studies. To make the Dean’s List, a student must complete 12 or more semester hours of non-developmental coursework and earn a GPA of at least a 3.5. To make the President’s List a student must have completed at least 12 semester hours of non-developmental coursework with a perfect 4.0. GPA.
…that tutors are available in the Student Support Building.
Students may go to the Student Support Building if they need help in a core subject. Tutoring is free but students must bring their ID. Tutoring is available from 7:45 a.m.- 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 7:45 a.m.- 3:45 p.m. on Friday.
…that I could be a tutor and get paid for it.
The Zone Tutoring Lab is looking for part-time tutors for the fall semester. To qualify, a student must have completed at least 30 hours of college credit, have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA and knowledge in the subjects to be tutored (math, English, reading, chemistry, Spanish, speech, computer science and other subjects), must possess strong leadership skills and the ability to work effectively with little supervision and must be professional, courteous and trustworthy with confidential information. Students can stop by the Zone (Student Support Building, Room 119) and fill out an application or contact Ronda Callaway, Zone coordinator, at 903-988-7491. Two letters of recommendation are required for each applicant.
…that the Parks Fitness Center is free to students.
Students will need to swipe their Ranger card at the front desk when they enter and leave. The fitness center is open 5 a.m.- 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 5 a.m.- 7 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. Saturday; and 1- 6 p.m. Sunday. The fitness center is next to the Masters Gym.
…that Ranger football games are free for students.
General admission for home games is free for students who have their student ID. Home games are always held at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium (south of the main campus).
…that you can be fined for not using the bridge.
The bridge is accessible to all and is an easy way to get across Highway 259. Crossing Highway 259 illegally can result in a fine, plus jay-walking can be hazardous to your health.
…that your student information can be easily accessed from Campus Connect.
Campus Connect is an online service that allows students to register for classes, see account status, class schedule, financial aid, payments, unofficial transcript, etc. Campus Connect can be accessed from www.kilgore.edu.
…that you can make copies on campus.
There are copy machines for student use in the Applied Technology Center and Old Main. These machines are coin operated. There are also copy machines available in the Watson Library.
…that I needed to activate my Ranger card.
In order to activate your Ranger card you must call the 1-800 number on the back or use the ATM in the Devall Student Center.
…that there is a lost and found in the KC police station.
This is a good place for students to look for lost possessions.
…that there are vending machines in Old Main and the Business Administration Building that offer school supplies.
Supplies include Scan-trons (full length, $2.50, short, $3), pens (prices range from $2.75 to $3.50), highlighters ($1.50), Blue Books ($.50), 2 gigabyte flash drives ($18), a small calculator ($5), individual packets of Tylenol and Advil ($1), Scotch tape ($2.50) and much more.
Practicing in 100-degree heat, the Ranger football team knows each sprint, kick and pass will help them in the coming season. The Rangers will open their season by hosting Dodge City (Kan.) 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium.
“It is a great advantage having our first game at home,” said head coach J.J. Eckert. “We do not have to travel, and having a crowd here is a huge plus.”
The team started practice Aug. 13. The Rangers have 18 returning players, eight defensive, eight offensive and two specialties, but the spot for quarterback is open.
“We have many quarterbacks that came out to practice and we haven’t picked one yet,” Eckert said. “We have a scrimmage that will give us a better idea.”
Offensive coordinator Josh Pruitt and other coaches spent nine months recruiting the players.
“We have offensive players returning from last season. However, the majority of them will all be new to their starting roles,” Pruitt said. “Key players to keep an eye on would be Darrin Brown and Ed’Marquis Batties as our only returning wide receivers. We also have sophomore running back Jameel Woodard that will be leading our running back core and should see significant time carrying the ball.”
The coaches of the Southwest Junior College Football Conference ranked KC sixth in their annual pre-season poll.
The coaches picked Trinity Valley Community College and Blinn College as tied for first place pre-season. Navarro came in third, Northeastern Oklahoma placed fourth and Cisco was ranked last behind KC.
“We are in a very tough conference this year and can’t single out any team,” Eckert said. “We just have to be the best team we can be.”
Pruitt said the team is excited.
“We are looking forward to having a great season. Go Rangers,” Pruitt said.
The next sport up to bat at KC is women’s fast-pitch softball with Leslie Messina as the head coach.
Messina comes from Texarkana College where she was the head softball coach for eight years. TC announced in May that all sports, including men’s and women’s golf, baseball and softball, were being cut due to financial issues.
Messina soon had offers from Tyler Junior College, Arkansas Tech and KC.
Messina decided KC was the best fit.
“The people at Kilgore College have demonstrated their commitment to the program. Their commitment level has far exceeded the other schools I looked at, and I knew they were excited for it and they would give us the support we needed and they wanted to do it right, and I liked that,” Messina said.
Sophomore Capria Howell, injured at the time of the announcement, was at ease that she would not have to transfer anywhere without softball.
“When we were talking (Messina) asked us if she went, if we would go with her and basically all of us agreed,” Howell said.
Messina discussed her choices with the team and in May she told the team that KC was the best place for them.
“She said the whole time her mind was set on Kilgore. She always said how everyone was so nice, and they were so ready to have softball,” Howell said.
KC will take Texarkana College’s place in the Region XIV East Conference. As for being KC’s first-ever softball team, the women are excited to start a tradition. The first game for the fall season is 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, at the Stream-Flo Park against DFW Firecrackers. The entrance is free to students with their KC ID. Stream-Flo Park is next to Driller Park, located at 1800 S. Commerce St. in Kilgore.
“We want to start a legacy. And also win to show how thankful we are for them to take us as quick as they did. Most schools take a year to recruit and they took us right away,” Howell said.
Sophomores Kathryn Lambert and Jessie Long were recruited from Lon Morris College which also had sport cuts.
“We’re really thankful, because we all came out of bad situations and we ended up with a really great opportunity. If we start as champions, Kilgore’s always going to be the place to go for softball,” Lambert said.
With big aspirations for the fall season, the team has been working hard in two-a-days.
“Our goal for the immediate year is to win a conference title. We have a good core of people who came with us from Texarkana and we have some good sophomore transfers from other schools in our region,” Messina said. “We were able to get some of our original commitments for Texarkana to come and some of the area kids we got at tryouts.”
The fall schedule is non-conference, but the team is not treating it as an easy pre-season. Messina believes the talent is there, but the team just needs to get in better shape.
“In our first year, we don’t just want to compete. We want to win a conference title and we want to be one of the best teams in Region XIV that is competing for the title year end and year out,” Messina said.
The acquisition of the softball program satisfies the federal Title IX mandate, making an equal number of sports available to men and women.