Two student-athletes work tirelessly to maintain family farm


Ian Havemann

Maggie Goad and Rachel Dumoulin guide a tour around Dumoulin Farms in Hampshire, Illinois.

Shealeigh Voitl, Managing Editor

For cousins Maggie Goad, a nursing major, and Rachel Dumoulin, who is currently studying mechanical engineering, life is a consistent and strategic balancing act. These two second-year Elgin Community College students have been working on their family’s farm in Hampshire, Illinois for as long they can remember.

“We wake up at 5:30 in the morning and head out for chores at six, then from there, I head off to class, which starts at nine,” Dumoulin said. “So, it’s pretty busy all the time.”

Ian Havemann
Maggie Goad carries a piglet on her family farm in Hampshire, Illinois.

With a total of 20 kids between the three families, all third-generation farmers, the farm itself never feels empty or quiet. Goad loves the fact that she gets to work alongside her siblings and cousins day in, day out. In fact, she feels like it makes the job a little bit easier.

“The relationship that I have with my cousins on my mom’s side is really [strong],” Goad said. “We just have a really close bond.”

At its beginning some 65 years ago, when Pat and Bill Dumoulin began running the farm that once belonged to Pat’s parents, the heartbeat of the farm was family. Every single Dumoulin and Goad since have actively and carefully worked to maintain that heartbeat across the hundreds of acres.  

“As we were growing up, our brother and I knew what we wanted to do our whole lives, and we were fortunate to find two girls that [shared in that dream],” said Mike Dumoulin, Rachel Dumoulin’s father. “We [and the farm] continued to grow through some good times and bad times, so we’re very lucky.”

According to Rachel Dumoulin, this tight-knit unit that the generations before her built makes everything worth it. She enjoys seeing her friends when she can on the weekends amidst physics homework and various other responsibilities, but when that’s not possible, she feels lucky to be surrounded by those she loves at all times.

“I have plenty of people to talk to [at home],” Dumoulin said. “My family are my friends, too.”

Although quite used to the farm life, there was still an adjustment period for Goad and Dumoulin after graduating high school, wherein they realized that their schedules were only going to get even more hectic upon enrolling as a full-time, 15-credit-hour students.

“High school was obviously easier; you get out at the same time every single day, and I had a five-minute commute to school,” Dumoulin said.

It takes Dumoulin about 20 to 25 minutes to get to ECC in the morning, then after classes are done for the day, she usually heads to basketball practice alongside Goad, and then they go home to do chores on the farm at around 6:30 p.m. The amount of work at night depends on the season. During the harvest, picking corn in the field can last well into the evening when the moon hangs high in the starry night sky. Then, whatever homework is due for the week has to be completed before she rises to do it all over again the next day.

Long days and long nights have become the norm for the pair, especially after they decided to join ECC’s basketball team as their siblings and cousins did before them.

“I knew I wanted to continue playing basketball [after high school] and because the other girls [in my family] already went through all of that, I felt like I could ask them if I needed help along the way,” Goad said. “There are so many [that have played at ECC]. Our coach even numbers us off, like, ‘You and Rachel are nine and 10!’”

Coach Jerry McLaughlin sees much of himself, and his family growing up, mirrored in the Dumoulin/Goad family unit, 10 of which secured spots on ECC basketball teams during their time as students.

“It brings back a sense of normalcy for me because I grew up with six brothers and sisters in an Irish Catholic family in Philadelphia,” McLaughlin said. “And this whole family revolves around being the best student-athletes they can be.”

McLaughlin also feels proud of the exemplary qualities Dumoulin and Goad, as well as the rest of the cousins he’s had the pleasure of coaching, exhibit outside of the sport.

“They’re a family that is always willing to give back without asking for anything in return,” McLaughlin said. “They’re all very grounded.”

Goad and Dumoulin’s cousin, Jenny Dumoulin, remembers her time playing basketball at ECC from 2013 to 2015 vividly, and she knows that success, both academically and athletically, doesn’t come easily.

“I think it has a lot to do with the support of the family and the support of the team,” Dumoulin said. “I know that’s always been really helpful to them.”

Rachel Dumoulin’s older sister Becky, also a former Lady Spartan from the years 2014 to 2016, admires Dumoulin and Goad’s steady improvement throughout their time at ECC as well as their close relationship that has only been strengthened after becoming teammates.

“It’s super cool to see where they’ve started and where they are now, and how they’ve grown together,” Dumoulin said. “My little sister Ronnie is in fifth grade, and she is praying that she grows up to be just like her sister Rachel because of all the accomplishments that she’s watched her have throughout the years.”

Jenny Dumoulin recognizes that all of these athletic triumphs are nothing without a strong character.

“They’re very selfless,” Dumoulin said. “It’s never a thing where they’re like: ‘This is about me.’ It’s about both of them doing things together and for the team.”

Dumoulin and Goad are cool, calm forces on the court. Amidst urgent shouts and squeaks of fresh, blue sneakers against crisp wood floors, they remain focused, confident and tactical. Dumoulin was honored on Nov. 29 during ECC’s game against Benedictine University’s JV team for achieving her 1000th career point. Her family in the seats above, and Goad courtside, swelled with unmistakable pride.

Presentation of an award to Rachel Dumoulin ball for 1,000 career points during the Benedictine game. (Left to right) Jena Aranjo, Kam Dumoulin, Rachael Dumoulin, Mike Dumoulin, and head coach Jerry McLaughlin. Taken by Lance Lagoni.
Maggie Goad glides effortlessly across the court during ECC’s game against Harper College. Taken by Lance Lagoni.
lance lagoni
Maggie Goad reaches for the ball during ECC’s game against Truman.

“I honestly was going to cry,” Becky Dumoulin said. “I knew she was close [to 1000], but it made sense afterward, because [McLaughlin] wanted everyone from Hampshire to come out and support.”

Dumoulin’s parents Mike and Kam were also there to celebrate their daughter’s massive accomplishment, but they recognize that her and Goad’s determination is something worth celebrating all year round.

“They really like the challenge of being busy [with all of these different activities],” Mike Dumoulin said. “They always strive to do their very best (…) Points are great, but we don’t count on or expect that stuff.”

Kam Dumoulin loves that Goad and her daughter have continued the ECC basketball tradition so that she may always be there to watch.

“It’s awesome,” Dumoulin said. “It’s been about eight years since we’ve started to come to these games, and Jerry [McLaughlin] has always been so dedicated to his players. He’ll go to bat for any one of them.”

McLaughlin is undeniably devoted to his work with the women’s basketball team, and in return, each player gives their all each and every single game. Teammates Annika Spayne, a second-year student, and Isa Mar, a first-year student, know what it’s like to play alongside Goad and Dumoulin and feel strongly that they’ve become better players overall because of that experience. While navigating being a college athlete and all that entails, Mar feels consistently inspired by Goad and Dumoulin.

“We always see them in the library doing their work,” Mar said. “They really try to lead by example.”

Spayne also sees what an impact Goad and Dumoulin’s encouraging attitudes have had on the team as a whole, which contributes to the overall chemistry that each player has developed with one another.

“Maggie’s a little tougher; she really pushes all of us to do better,” Spayne said. “And then Rachel is very gentle, and she softly uses her words and wisdom and knowledge to keep us going.”