The coaching efforts by one of Essex’s longest tenured coaches have caught the eye of his peers for the past several years. But now, he stands among an elite group in the state with 136 career victories.
This past season, Essex boys coach Sterling Harris earned his 136th career victory after 12 seasons. As a result, this accomplishment has made him eligible for the second level Victory Milestone Award for Achievement sponsored by the Virginia High School Coaches’ Association (VHSCA). The first level coaches must
meet is 65 career wins and 130 wins for level two.
“This award belongs to every person who has ever been involved in our program. Success in life is all about having great people around you. That is what we have done with Essex Soccer,” Harris said.
The 12-year-coach wished to thank all the supporters, coaches, students and representatives of the Essex Parks and Recreation.
VHSCA Executive Director Mike Smith was excited for Harris’s accomplishment.
“I think it great and we’re very proud to have him a part of the coaches association. That’s an accomplishment in 12 years and that many victories is great,” Smith said.
Smith added that Harris joins 11 active coaches and looks forward to presenting him with his plaque.
RJ Sudduth, of Washington & Lee High School, was pleased to hear of the news as an opposing player years ago and as a present day coach.
“I have enjoyed the last five years coaching against him in the battles that our two teams have year in and year out. They have been some of the best soccer matches I have been apart of,” Sudduth said.
“I believe he started coaching at Essex my senior year so he has definitely stood the test of time and the Essex soccer program has benefited from his hard work,” Sudduth added. “Congrats again on 136 and hopefully many more after that.”
First year head coach Chris Felthouse, of Lancaster, was excited for Harris on his accomplishment.
“Sterling in my opinion is one of the best coaches to ever coach in the NND/Region A,” Feltouse said. “As this was my first year coaching he had many kind words and lots encouragements to say to me, you don’t get that from many coaches. Very class act coach, and always has his teams ready.”
Harris said in comparison to when the team first started to the present day, he’s excited of how the program has taken off.
“For the first few years, we practiced on rolling hills while dodging shot puts and the discuses while shooting on goals that were more holes than nets,” Harris said. “Now, we are consistently a Top 10 state Group A soccer team and produce a high quality product with great, skilled players, some of which, have played at the next level.”