Sunday, 05 May 2019 17:43

Ellerbe, Hamlet and Rockingham all represented in SEMSAC soccer semis

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The second round of the SEMSAC soccer playoffs begins Monday. The second round of the SEMSAC soccer playoffs begins Monday. Deon Cranford — The Richmond Observer.

RICHMOND COUNTY — The first round of the Southeastern Middle School Athletic Conference soccer playoffs is in the books, and six total Richmond County teams are in the semifinal round fighting for a chance at the 2019 title.

No. 1 Ellerbe boys’ and girls’ teams open after first-round bye

Both of Ellerbe Middle School’s soccer programs earned the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye in this year’s playoffs. The Wildcats and Lady Wildcats will open their postseason play Tuesday at home against No. 4 East Hoke and No. 5 Carver, respectively.

In what has been the best season in both programs’ history, the Ellerbe clubs are looking to claim their first-ever SEMSAC titles. During the regular season, Jimmy Chavez’s Wildcats (8-1) took down the East Hoke Eagles 3-1 behind two goals from Jullian Cline.

Derek Anderson’s Lady Wildcats (8-1) defeated Carver 6-4. Eighth grader Nyla Stroman netted a game-high four goals in the win.

Both Ellerbe teams made the SEMSAC championship game in 2017, but lost. Kickoff for the girls is set for 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, followed by the boys right after.

No. 2 Hamlet teams host rival No. 3 Rockingham

Across the county in Hamlet, the No. 2 Red Rams and Lady Red Rams will also come off their first-round byes and host No. 3 Rockingham Middle School.

Last week, in the opening round, the Rockets and Lady Rockets squeaked by their respective opponents West Hoke and Sandy Grove middle schools. In the boys’ game, a scoreless contest in regulation from Daniel Webb’s club led to penalty kick goals by Andrew Conyers, Jed Davis and Chris Lopez to help the Rockets move past the Tigers.

Seventh grader Gabby Lutz would score the only goal in the Lady Rockets’ game against Sandy Grove, notching the game-winning goal with under two minutes left in regulation.

During the regular season, Ashleigh Buie’s Lady Red Rams (8-1) and Earl Nicholson’s Red Rams (7-2) both defeated Rockingham. In the boys’ game, Zay Hubbard scored the only goal in a 1-0 win, while the girls’ team went on to win 2-1.

The second round of the rivalry will be played Monday at Hamlet, starting at 4 p.m.

The winners from Monday and Tuesday’s games will advance to the SEMSAC championship.

Kyle Pillar

Three-time award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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