Rock, Beggs commit

Published 3:59 pm Wednesday, June 1, 2011

AHOSKIE – Two of the area’s better soccer players will move on to the next level.

Ridgecroft School seniors Aaron Rock and Ryan Beggs each have committed to play collegiate soccer after standout careers with the Rams.

Rock has selected Ohio Valley University in Vienna, West Virginia while Beggs will play at Yavapai College in Prescott, Arizona.

“I’m happy for them,” Ridgecroft Head Soccer Coach Aron Martin said. “I tell my players to be happy for what they’ve accomplished, but never satisfied. I want them to keep the hunger and never be complacent.”

Martin said both players had been tremendous assets to the Ridgecroft program and that he knew both had learned from the two years spent at the school.

“They have both grown tremendously academically as well as on the field and, more importantly, as young men,” Martin said. “I’m not saying there haven’t been bumps in the road, but considering the challenges they’ve faced, they have grown exponentially.”

Rock chose National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II Ohio Valley to further his education and continue his soccer career. He said the school had an excellent background academically and athletically.

“Ohio Valley has a good soccer program and a good academic background,” Rock said. “I want to continue my soccer at the next level and try to win some conference championships at OVU.”

Rock said he had learned a lot during his time playing for the Rams.

“During my time at Ridgecroft, I have learned how to be a good leader and also learned sportsmanship,” he said. “I have learned how to be a good team player.”

In fact, Rock’s leadership ability has developed so well that Martin, a 33-year veteran of soccer between playing and coaching, calls him one of the best he’s ever seen.

“Aaron is probably one of the best team captains I’ve ever been exposed to in my 33 years,” Martin said. “His ability to lead is almost as important as his ability to do things on the field. He is a tremendously talented soccer player and also has some of the intangibles to make him successful, not just at the next level, but in life.”

Rock, who was the All-Roanoke-Chowan Player of the Year, said he hopes to take that leadership ability to Ohio Valley.

“I think my biggest asset on the field is my leadership and I will bring that to my play at OVU,” he said.

Rock was named All-State, All-Conference and All-Roanoke-Chowan during his senior season at Ridgecroft.

Beggs is heading to one of the top junior college soccer programs in the nation at Yavapai. He said that history is one of the reasons he wanted to go to the school.

“It is a great program and has a great history,” Beggs said. “They are ranked in the top 15 every year and have seven national championships. I also want to work on my academics so I can further my education at a university later.”

Martin said he believed Beggs would fit in well with the talented Yavapai team.

“Ryan has tremendous soccer talent,” the coach insisted. “It is not very common for someone of his size to have the technical ability he does. He knows the game and on the field he is a fierce competitor. He doesn’t think about anything but benefitting his team and getting a win.”

Martin said Beggs, the Coastal Plain Independent Conference Player of the Year, got looks from all over the United States, but settled on playing in Arizona.

Beggs said his time in Ahoskie had helped him.

“It has been a good two years coming here and learning the American way,” he said. “Adapting my skills to play in a different country has been an honor. It taught me to be good on the field and off.”

He said the best trait he will carry to Arizona is his determination.

“I think my best characteristic is my determination to win,” he said. “I will always give 110 percent for every single game I play. I can’t stand losing.”

In addition to being named All-State, All-Conference and All-Roanoke-Chowan in soccer, Beggs played basketball during his senior year.