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Big changes for Eagles athletics
Turlock Christian welcomes new athletics director; football program cancelled, for now
Nicole Rodrigues
Turlock Christian teacher and JV girls basketball head coach Nicole Rodrigues will serve as the new Eagles Athletic Director for the upcoming year (Photo contributed).

Student-athletes returning to Turlock Christian High in the fall will be met with a couple of big changes including a new athletics director and one less Eagles sport.

TC junior varsity girls basketball coach Nicole Rodrigues was named the school’s new Athletics Director, following the departure of Travis Thompson.

The school also announced that it will be eliminating its football program for the upcoming season.

According to Rodrigues, the decision to cancel the upcoming football season was based mainly on a lack of players.

“Numbers were limited for football and we are looking at what we can do well and when it comes to athletics, what we could offer with the well-being of our students,” she said.

TC football
Turlock Christian announced it will not have a football team for the fall 2019 season. This is the first time since the football program’s start in 2003 that the Eagles will not field a team (Journal file photo).

The Eagles football program has struggled to find success since its inception in 2003.

While TC had a perfect league record in 2003 — and won the Sacramento Valley Christian League title that year — over the past decade, TC varsity football has seen only one winning season, going 6-4 in 2009. TC football has notched a record of 8-57 over the past 11 seasons.

While interest may be waning in football as TC, the school has seen increased support for its basketball and baseball programs.

TC girls basketball has seen multiple 20-plus win seasons over the past six seasons. Three to be exact, along with a 16 and 17-win season. Eagles basketball is also coming off the program’s first Sac-Joaquin Section (D-VI) Championship appearance following an upset win over No. 1 and No. 4 in the playoffs as a No. 8 seed. 

The baseball team, led by head coach Bill York, is coming off a league championship with a 9-3 record that saw them make the semifinals in the SJS D-VII playoffs.

Turlock Christian’s newest sport, wrestling, which started just two seasons ago, is also seeing success with multiple section qualifiers. 

Whatever the sport, Rodrigues said she is excited about being able to support all of TC’s athletes and coaches in the upcoming year.

“My hope is to support the fantastic coaches we have because the coaches and athletes make the athletic department,” said Rodrigues. “So, I want to offer what I can to improve, how can I help to continue to build the program.

“My philosophy is not just athletics and students, but their overall wellbeing. Best compliments I receive are when we get beaten by bigger schools and people notice the amazing attitude our kids have, their encouragement and in contrast to the world. That is something else I want to bring to the table for our athletes, never hang their head low, always hold your head high because God is with you.”