Rams earn accolades

Published 1:01 pm Friday, March 4, 2011

AHOSKIE – It was a season of tremendous success on the pitch at Mike Bryant Stadium.

The Ridgecroft School varsity soccer Rams put together one of the school’s best seasons and, in the process, racked up a plethora of post-season awards.

The Rams claimed a 20-win season, earned the Coastal Plain Independent Conference championship and made their first-ever appearance in the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association state championship contest.

“We had a tremendous season and one I think the boys should be proud of,” Ridgecroft Head Soccer Coach Aron Martin said. “I think they worked hard all season and it’s nice for them to receive recognition.”

In addition to the team honors, the Rams had two difference players selected as Player of the Year in various forms.

Ryan Beggs was named CPIC Player of the Year and Aaron Rock was named All-Roanoke-Chowan Player of the Year.

Both of those young men were also named to the All-State First Team along with teammates Michael Byrum and Drey Chrysostomou.

Those four young men, along with Austin Britton and Nathan Pearce were chosen All-CPIC as well. Max Boone and Landon Larabee were Honorable Mention All-CPIC.

The awards won by the Rams grew even longer recently when Beggs and Martin were honored by the North Carolina Soccer Coaches Association.

Beggs was chosen as a member of the All-State Team by the NCSCA.  He was one of 12 players chosen for the prestigious award which honors all private school soccer players.

“It means a lot,” Beggs said of the award. “I appreciate it, but I couldn’t have done it without the guys on the team.”

Beggs said he was proud of the season the Rams had.

“It was a great season except for the way it ended,” he said, referring to the Rams’ loss to Greenfield School in the state championship game. “It was the best of the two seasons I’ve been here.”

Beggs, who hails from Ireland, said he has enjoyed his two years playing at Ridgecroft.

“It has been a lot better than I thought,” he said. “The soccer has been good and we have had some very good teams to play against.”

He said one of the biggest changes was the heat.

“I had to get used to playing in 90 degree weather,” he said. “That’s not something I was used to.”

Martin said he was proud of Beggs and his entire team.

“I don’t believe this honor has been given to any player in our area – public or private,” Martin said. “For him to be in the company of players going to top Division I colleges is not just an accomplishment for him, but shows where we’ve come as a program.

“There have been a lot of people who have worked hard to make this possible,” he added.

Martin said he believes Beggs still has a bright future in soccer.

“If he keeps on after he graduates and does what he needs to, I wouldn’t put it past him to play after college,” the coach said.

In his sixth season with the Rams, Martin was also honored by the state’s soccer coaches when he was chosen as Region I Coach of the Year and State Coach of the Year.

“I’m certainly not one for personal accolades because I believe in team accomplishments,” Martin said. “It really is an honor to have the support of the other coaches.

“Because of my position I get the award, but it is recognition of so much that is done by so many to make our program better,” he added.