ROCKINGHAM — Patrick Hamilton and Evan Hudson represented the Richmond boys soccer team on the 2017 All-Sandhills Athletic Conference team that was recently announced.
Both players weren’t in the starting lineup when the season first began, but with their discipline and hard work, head coach Bennie Howard had no choice but to acknowledge their impact with more playing time.
Because as Howard believes, it’s not always about scoring goals and getting assists.
“It’s all about working hard and doing what you’re asked to do,” he said. “It’s well deserved on both young men’s parts.”
Hamilton, a senior midfielder, gave the Raiders “a little spark every now and then” whenever he entered the game as a substitute in the season’s early going. That consistency eventually led him to earning a starting role, with Howard being able to switch him back and forth from the left side of the field to the right side of the field.
He would finish his senior campaign with six goals and one assist for a fourth-best 13 points on the season. Hamilton was the lone Raider to score in the team’s first meeting with Jack Britt and was able to net a score against Scotland on Senior Night.
“Being named all-conference kind of puts the icing on the cake,” Hamilton said. “With us being conference champs last year and me getting all-conference this year, together, makes it a good four-year experience.”
Hudson, a junior, garnered his first all-conference selection after coming off the bench as an outside midfielder but gradually taking over the centerback position. His only goal of the season put an end to a 9-0 rout of Purnell Swett back in August.
“I feel like it’s a big accomplishment as a junior to get this,” Hudson said. “It makes me want to work harder and try to earn it again. I want to have an even better year next year.”
With the helping of the all-conference duo, the Raiders finished 11-9-1 overall and made it to the second round of the conference tournament. It was Howard’s last season as the boys soccer team’s coach.
“Hopefully this is a sign (to the younger guys) that they’ve got to work hard in order to make it,” Howard added.
The 2017 All-Sandhills Athletic Conference boys soccer team:
PINECREST: Noah Edgerly (senior), Ryan Green (senior), Jimmy Kester (senior), Alex Miller (senior) Patrick Nieves (senior), Haden Smith (senior), Lucas Woody (senior)
JACK BRITT: Weston Grant (senior), Brennen Herbert (senior), Derek Koenig (senior), Logan Quant (senior) and Gawayne Herbert (senior)
LUMBERTON: Rene Altamirano (senior), Joan Carrillo (sophomore), Cole Lewis (senior), Connor Nemeroff (senior), Kendric Perry (senior)
HOKE COUNTY: Nakya Davila (junior), Josue Soto-Maldonado (junior), David Williams (Junior)
RICHMOND: Patrick Hamilton (senior), Evan Hudson (junior)
SCOTLAND: Nygel Collins-Jackson (senior), Donavan O’Donnell (senior)
SEVENTY-FIRST: Jeremiah Mathis (senior)
PURNELL SWETT: Pacey Brooks (senior)
The 2017 All-Sandhills Athletic Conference award winners:
CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS: Pinecrest (13-1 SAC)
COACH OF THE YEAR: Christopher Fitzgerald (Pinecrest)
PLAYERS OF THE YEAR: Haden Smith (Pinecrest), Rene Altamirano (Lumberton)
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. at 910-817-2673 and follow the sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.