ROCKINGHAM — Honored and shocked.
That is how senior forward Cherie Ellerbe and junior midfielder Nile Fisher felt when they found out they were named to the all-SEC team by the conference’s coaches.
“I don’t know how to feel,” Ellerbe said. “I’m happy but still shocked because I had never made it before.”
Ellerbe led the Raiders with a career-high nine goals this season. In the previous two years on varsity, Ellerbe scored six goals in both her junior and sophomore seasons.
Richmond coach Bennie Howard teased Ellerbe, saying she could have scored more goals if she would have picked a corner and fired the ball at it. Instead, Howard said Ellerbe would shoot right at the opposing goalkeeper.
“Cherie played with more confidence and composure when she had the opportunity to score,” Richmond coach Bennie Howard said.
Fisher, just like Ellerbe, had mixed emotions knowing she was amongst the SEC’s best.
“I’m happy,” Fisher said. “I was surprised because I thought a senior would make it.”
Fisher had two goals and two assists for Richmond (4-12-2).
Howard admitted Fisher’s numbers probably didn’t warrant a selection on the all-league squad, but it was her immeasurable skills is what helped her garner enough votes.
“Even though the stats wouldn’t get her an all-conference nod, her leadership and her ability on the field played a big role,” Howard said.
The pair was also named to the North Carolina Soccer Coaches Association’s Region 4 4A team. The region consists of schools from the Southeastern Conference as well as the Mid-South Atlantic Conference.
Lumberton, the regular season and tournament champion, placed six players on the all-SEC team, including player of the year Madison Britt. Pinecrest had six honored as well.
Lumberton’s Kenny Simmons was selected as the conference’s coach of the year.
Reach sports editor Shawn Stinson at 910-997-3111, ext. 14 or on Twitter @scgolfer.