ROCKINGHAM — For the second straight year, Richmond Senior soccer coach Bennie Howard will be busy during his summer break.
Howard was selected as the East boys head coach in next year’s East-West All-Star game held in conjunction with the annual North Carolina Coaches Association clinic in Greensboro.
“It’s a great honor,” Howard said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
Earlier this summer, Howard was an assistant coach for the girls North team in the Powerade State Games in Charlotte. Hoke County’s Colin McDavid served as the head coach.
Howard received a call last week from Phil Weaver, the executive director of the NCCA, asking if he would be interested in leading the East team. During the conversation, Weaver asked the long-time Richmond coach why he hadn’t been asked to coach in the game before.
“Well you have to be nominated by your peers. I guess no one liked me enough to do it,” Howard said laughing. “I don’t know all it entails, but I’m supposed to getting some information.”
Being a first-time coach in the event, Howard believes he has an idea on selecting his squad, but is quick to add he isn’t 100 percent sure.
“Other coaches will give me names of their players, I guess,” Howard said. “Then we will have tryouts. I have no clue how the process goes. It’s great I have the opportunity to do it.”
Howard is one of two head coaches currently on the Richmond staff who will have coached a team in the NCCA East-West All-Star games. The other is football coach Paul Hoggard, who led the East squad in 2011.
Upgrades to RSHS soccer field on hold
The goal was for the Richmond soccer teams to transition from playing its home games at Raider Stadium to the soccer field located behind Raider Field this fall.
The soccer field has been used for practice and recently had lights installed but lacked bleachers, bathrooms and other facilities to be used for games.
That was supposed to change this summer with crews expected to build a concession stand with bathrooms as well as place bleachers along the field.
None of that work has been started at this time.
“Hopefully by the state playoffs we can use it,” Howard said. “Right now we will play at Raider Stadium. I appreciate what has been done so far.”
Richmond athletic director Ricky Young hopes the construction at the soccer field will begin soon so the boys team can utilize the facility for a game before its season ends.
“The plan right now is to see how far the work progresses then see about using it,” Young said. “There’s no problem with them playing at the stadium.”
Reach sports editor Shawn Stinson at 910-817-2671 or on Twitter @scgolfer.