ROCKINGHAM — Sitting in Monday’s Richmond Senior athletic banquet, Casey Snead read the program and noticed an accomplishment following her name.
It read “Casey Snead (Player of the Year).”
“I didn’t know for sure what it meant,” the senior said.
Later in the evening, Snead found out. Her coach, Wendy Wallace, announced Snead was selected as the Southeastern Conference’s top player.
“I was surprised,” Snead said. “There was a lot of competition out of the whole conference. I guess I knew I had a shot at it, but I didn’t think I would get it. It’s an honor and I am really shocked.”
Snead became the third Richmond Raider and second pitcher in the last five years to be selected as the top player from their league. Maggie McKenzie shared the Mid-Southeastern Conference honor with Scotland’s Jessica Milligan in 2008. Brittany Tedder was named the MSEC POY the following year. When the SEC was reformed in 2010, McKenzie grabbed the award.
“It was hard following Maggie,” Snead said. “It was a lot of hard work and a lot of pressure.”
Snead helped lead the Raiders into the second round of the 4A playoffs and a 16-10 final record. The right-hander posted an 12-7 record with one save, a 1.01 ERA and 170 strikeouts in 125 1/3 innings.
“She really blossomed this year,” Wallace said. “She was our leader and we counted on her night after night to produce.”
Despite snaring the accolade in her final season at Richmond and joining McKenzie and Tedder as a POY, Snead still has a hard time putting herself on the same level as her former teammates.
“I just can’t picture it,” Snead said. “I just can’t find myself talking about myself like that because it feels like I’m bragging.”
Wallace was quick and happy to bunch her in with that group.
“I definitely put her in the same category as Brittany and Maggie,” Wallace said. “She definitely deserved what she got. She worked hard to earn it.”
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org