Thursday, 14 November 2019 16:20

Hayden, Davis and Jordan cap careers with All-SAC team selections

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Seniors Lee Hayden (17), Drew Davis (5) and Noah Jordan (16) were named to the 2019 All-SAC team. Seniors Lee Hayden (17), Drew Davis (5) and Noah Jordan (16) were named to the 2019 All-SAC team. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond Senior High School boys’ soccer team closed its season with three seniors being named to the 2019 All-Sandhills Athletic Conference team.

Announced Thursday morning, Drew Davis, Lee Hayden and Noah Jordan all capped their respective playing careers by being three of the 27 players chosen to represent this year’s squad. The list was released following Pinecrest High School’s third-round playoff loss to Myers Park High School. 

Hoke County High School saw its Colin McDavid named “Coach of the Year” for the second consecutive season, while senior defender Xavier Hernandez was tabbed as the “Player of the Year.” Purnell Swett High School’s Nick Ramirez, who recently committed to Cape Fear Community College, earned “Goalkeeper of the Year.”

Pinecrest and Hoke County both finished 13-1 in SAC play this season, and the two programs both saw a conference-best six players named. For Richmond, it was Jordan’s second career selection in three varsity seasons, and Davis and Hayden each earned his first respective career all-conference nod.

The trio of seniors were a big part of a successful second-half turnaround for the Raiders and head coach Chris Larsen, which finished third in the conference standings with a 10-10-2 overall record (9-5 SAC). Hayden and Jordan controlled the midfield and were first and second in goals scored this season on the team, while Davis’ work as a defender saw him hold down an experienced back row.

Of the Raiders’ 37 goals scored in 2019, Davis, Hayden and Jordan combined for 20 of them.

Drew Davis, senior center back

Davis’ two-way efforts on offense and defense helped him earn his first career selection. Predominantly a center back for Larsen, Davis helped limit opponent’s scoring, as the Raiders held SAC opponents to just 1.92 goals per game. He also scored three goals and had two assists this year when he was moved up to forward to shake up a stagnant offense midway through the season.

“It means the world to me knowing I was selected,” Davis said. “I worked a lot in the offseason to prepare and it feels good knowing my hard work paid off. It also means a lot that other coaches acknowledged that hard work.

“I was constantly communicating and made some big tackles this year, but it wasn’t just me alone,” he continued of the defense. “The support in the back from Kevyn and Justyn (Leviner) and Evan (Baxley) helped tremendously. I’m going to miss playing the guys -- a majority of us have played together since we were 10.”


Lee Hayden, senior midfielder

Also seeing his name added to the SAC list for the first time in his three-year varsity career was Hayden, who finished as Richmond’s leading goal scorer with nine tallies. A player Larsen moved all over the field from striker, to midfielder to defender, Hayden’s adaptability and leadership allowed him to become a versatile weapon on the field. His two goals against Lumberton, one in regulation and one in overtime, helped Richmond secure third place.

“It really means a lot earning my first all-conference selection as a senior because it shows how the hard work from the previous four years has paid off,” Hayden commented.

“This season was successful for me due to the team I was playing with,” he added. “We had really good chemistry since a lot of us have been playing together for so long. Playing with this group made my senior year that much more enjoyable.”


Noah Jordan, senior midfielder

Jordan was the team’s second leading goal scorer this season, notching eight goals in his final campaign. A three-year varsity player, he was an integral part of Larsen’s midfield and helped score and defend against opposing offenses. Jordan’s best two games of the season came near the end, when he scored two goals each against rival Scotland and Purnell Swett. Jordan’s five assists were a team-high.

“It feels really good to be named all-conference for a second time,” Jordan shared. “Especially since it was my last season. And it made sure all the hard work I put in this year wasn’t for nothing.

“It’s cool that the three of us were named because we have been together for so long,” he added. “We pushed each other on the field harder and harder every year and the main point was to create an example of how players should be. And I think all three of us did that.”


Below is a complete list of this year’s All-SAC soccer team:

Hoke County (6):  Mohamed Algazali, Delani Bascombe, Brady Callahan, Pedro Davila, Xavier Hernandez (POY) and Juan Santos. Colin McDavid (COY).

Pinecrest (6): Jair Ballesteros, Ethan Howery, Justin Phillips, Gray Smith, Nick Vences and Binka Woody.

Richmond (3): Drew Davis, Lee Hayden and Noah Jordan.

Jack Britt (3): Cameron Adams, Justin Benson and Amin Hasan.

Purnell Swett (3): Nehemiah Maynor, Nick Ramirez (GOY) and Jafet Robles.

Lumberton (2): Kameron Chavis and Jorge Gomez.

Scotland (2): Adolfo Duran and Quron McDonald.

Seventy-First (2): Lansse Conde and Komla Okogo.

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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