Greene is All-State

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 23, 2005

AHOSKIE – It has become a yearly habit.

Since the ninth grade, Ridgecroft junior Sarah Beth Greene has been racking up All-State awards that would cause envy from the most sought-after recruits.

The Lady Ram volleyball, basketball and soccer player took home two more during the 2004-05 campaign, being recognized as All-State in soccer and basketball.

&uot;I think it’s safe to say she was our go-to person when we needed a basket and was definitely our defensive stopper,&uot; Ridgecroft Athletic Director Doug Cobbs said. &uot;We always put her on the best player on the other team.&uot;

During last season, Greene helped lead the Lady Rams’ basketball team to what seemed like unthinkable heights. A year after losing the Tarheel Independent Conference’s best guard tandem in Kathryn Vick and Caitlyn Lowe, Greene and the Lady Rams went 22-5 and made the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association Final Four for the second consecutive year.

To get there, Ridgecroft relied on Greene. With 6.8 seconds to play in the contest, the Rams were down by one point in the Elite Eight. Greene took a shot just inside the three-point line as time expired that swished and propelled Ridgecroft to their second consecutive Final Four.

&uot;It’s a shot I’ll never forget the rest of my life,&uot; Greene said. &uot;It is pretty cool making that shot at the last second.&uot;

Despite that success, Greene said her favorite part of the season was winning the TIC title at Ridgecroft.

&uot;We played without Jessica (Misse), but we kept our cool and played well,&uot; she said. &uot;It was nice to win on our floor and beat a team that we had lost to earlier in the season.&uot;

The Final Four was a place Greene should have been accustomed to as she made the same trip in the NCISAA volleyball finals.

&uot;We went to the state’s as a Cinderella story,&uot; she said. &uot;We were a small school from eastern North Carolina and we played with the toughest teams there.&uot;

The Rams made the Final Four and came within two points of upsetting eventual state champion Cresset Christian Academy.

Coming off a state title in soccer, Greene knew this season wasn’t likely to have the same success.

&uot;We did well in soccer, despite losing some very good seniors,&uot; Greene said. &uot;I think even though we weren’t able to repeat, we still had a good season.&uot;

Greene was a big part in the success of each of the team’s she suited up for this season.

&uot;She always gave me 100 percent,&uot; Ridgecroft volleyball coach Nancy Brittenham said. &uot;She was always a team player and always came through when she needed to.

&uot;You could count on her to step up to the net when you needed it during volleyball season,&uot; she added.

Ridgecroft women’s soccer coach Beth Bryant agreed.

&uot;She was the kind of girl the other players looked to during our matches,&uot; Bryant said. &uot;We would ask her what she saw and the other girls would listen. She was a leader on the field.&uot;

Bryant said she was also confident in Greene’s abilities on the field.

&uot;I had the utmost confidence that when the ball was heading toward her, she was going to get it,&uot; Bryant said. &uot;I knew they wouldn’t score on her.&uot;

Greene said each of her coaches provided different leadership, but all worked together to make her a better athlete.

&uot;Coach Brittenham is a lot of fun,&uot; she said. &uot;We have good talks in the van on the way to the games. Then, in the games, she is always there to tell us what we’re doing wrong and how to fix it.&uot;

Basketball provided a different personality for Greene.

&uot;Coach Cobbs is Coach Cobbs,&uot; she laughed. &uot;Sometimes you just feel like you want to quit and not do it anymore, but he always keeps us coming back. He always knows how to get the best out of us.&uot;

Soccer season brought about another change in coaching philosophy.

&uot;They (Bryant and Assistant Coach Becky Johnson) work us hard,&uot; Greene said. &uot;Sometimes we don’t like it, but it gets us ready for the matches and it shows.&uot;

While being tabbed All-State in soccer since her freshman season, Greene has earned a reputation as one of the best goalies in the NCISAA 1-A ranks. She held Greenfield School scoreless through regulation and overtime during the state championship game in 2004.

But, basketball is also a strong suit for the gifted athlete. Last season was her first time being tabbed All-State, but her abilities continue to grow.

&uot;I think Sarah Beth probably has a better all-around game than some of the girls I’ve coached in the past,&uot; Cobbs admitted. &uot;She is a good rebounder, good passer, excellent shooter and good defender who can handle the ball fairly well.&uot;

Greene’s excellence is seen by those opposing her as well.

Northeast Academy’s Lyndal Brown, Greene’s fellow Kathryn Vick Female Athlete of the Year, was impressed by the way Greene plays.

&uot;Sarah Beth is very aggressive on the basketball floor,&uot; Brown said. &uot;Without her, I don’t think Ridgecroft would have been as successful this year. She is solid offensively and defensively.

&uot;She knows the game,&uot; Brown continued. &uot;Playing against her gives me a challenge because she is not only gifted athletically, but she’s smart and understands the game better than most.&uot;

NEA coach Joella Brown, expounded on Greene’s competitiveness and ability.

&uot;She’s a fierce competitor,&uot; Joella Brown said. &uot;No matter what sport she is playing, she is a force to be dealt with. She may be quiet for most of a game and then explode on you at the end.

&uot;Sarah Beth is someone you look forward to playing against,&uot; she added.

In addition to being named All-Roanoke-Chowan in volleyball, basketball and soccer, Greene was named All-Tarheel Conference in basketball and All-Coastal Plains Independent Conference in soccer. In addition she was named TIC Player of the Year in basketball and was the Tournament Most Valuable Player.

(The Kathryn Vick Female Athlete of the Year Award is given annually by the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald for the female athlete that had the most successful year and demonstrated a positive attitude towards teammates, coaches and opponents. It is named in honor of the newspaper’s first Female Athlete of the Year. Vick was selected Female Athlete of the Year after being selected MVP in volleyball, basketball and softball at Ridgecroft School following her senior campaign.)