Richmond wraps up successful year

Shawn Stinson|Daily Journal The Richmond Senior softball team advanced to the fourth round of the state 4A playoffs, falling to South Caldwell.

Ricky Young

ROCKINGHAM — There are a good number of things Ricky Young can take credit for since coming to Richmond Senior as the baseball coach and now the athletic director.

He is quick to give praise to the coaches and players for all the success the school’s programs had this season.

Richmond had 15 of its teams either qualify for the state playoffs or send individuals to the regional or state competitions in Young’s first full season as athletic director. Young accepted the AD role in December of 2013, when Kevin Mabe stepped down to take the newly created position of assistant director of transportation within the Richmond County Schools system.

“I think it’s been a good year, I think we had a lot of success,” Young said. “That’s our goal to have an overall athletic program that is successful in everything. We’ll love for every one of our programs to compete for state championships. Hopefully we will get to that point.”

The volleyball team advanced to the state playoffs for the first time since 2012. The girls soccer squad also qualified for the postseason for the first time in three seasons.

Young added a goal he has in mind is snapping Pinecrest’s stranglehold on the Wells Fargo Cup in the Southeastern Conference. Formerly known as the Wachovia Cup, the title is awarded to the school that has the best overall finish in all sports in each conference.

“I think just long-term, I would love to see us be able to develop all of our programs,” Young said. “I think we’re getting good people in place in a lot of areas. It’s just going to take a while to build some of them. I think we have the pieces in place…we’re going in the right direction. I would love to see us be able complete for the Wachovia Cup in the conference. Obviously Pinecrest has kind of dominated that with golf, tennis, track and cross country. We want to be able to compete in all of those programs so we can compete for that Wachovia Cup and compete for state championships in every sport.”

The biggest change fans will see this fall will be on the sideline during football season following the resignation of eight-year head coach Paul Hoggard and the hiring of Mike Castellano from Middle Creek. Young doesn’t anticipate any other head coaches departing: “I think everything else will remain the same as far as I know going into next year.”

Another focus for Young is to complete the work on the soccer field for the first boys game this fall. The field is currently used for practice by both the boys and girls teams. Lights and bleachers have been installed at the facility, but there are no bathrooms.

Young also talked about the lack of a golf course in the county that has the ability to meet the teams’ needs after the closure of Richmond Pines.

“Obviously right now, our big thing is trying to get that soccer complex completed. It’s been a process, but hopefully we are getting closer to the end,” Young said. “Our goal was to be able to play there in the fall and I think we will be able to make that happen.

“Golf-wise we are kind of handicapped because we just don’t have a local course that can accommodate everything we need. Foxfire has been very good and allowing us to go up there. Those are the things immediately we are trying to take care of. When those are taken of, we’ll tackle something else.”

When Young first talked about assuming the AD duties, he talked about generating different ways of raising money for the athletic program. There was a golf tournament at Foxfire in the fall and a reverse raffle at Richmond Community College earlier this month.

Young was pleased with the results from both events.

“We sold 300 tickets at $100 apiece, but we had expenses coming out of that,” he said. “We want to be able to use that as our travel money. That was the main goal for that. We obviously have a huge travel bill that has to be paid every year. Because of where we’re located, we have to travel everywhere. We just wanted to come up with another way to supplement the budget to help cover travel, that along with the golf tournament we did in the fall as well. We are always looking for ways to be able to give our athletes more things that they need.

“Both of those were successful and we hope to grow them in the coming years.”

Reach managing editor Shawn Stinson at 910-817-2671 and follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.