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Jackson Newspapers - Ripley, WV
  • Meet the Lady Red Devils: Erica Cullen

  • Lady Red Devil senior Erica Cullen has a gift—a knack for getting the soccer ball into the net whether by toe or head.
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  • Lady Red Devil senior Erica Cullen has a gift—a knack for getting the soccer ball into the net whether by toe or head. She’s played competitively for some six years, but she learned the ins and out of the game during her years in Texas, playing with international competition. Cullen is a forward for Ravenswood, a position she played in Texas, after earlier stints at goal keeper and on defense. The fit at forward is like a glove for Cullen’s embodiment of speed, attacking nature and scoring gifts. Playing in the Lone Star atmosphere of high-level competition and enhanced opportunity helped hone Erica’s soccer skills. Her stepfather grew up around the game. And his father played soccer for Mexico. She returned to Ravenswood as a sophomore to live with her father, Eric Cullen, and go to school here. In addition to her talents, Erica exhibits toughness. She suffered a severe ankle injury as a sophomore in the sectional championship game versus Sissonville, and a devastating knee ligament injury that wiped out all but a few games of her junior season. Yet like the proverbial phoenix, Erica Cullen has risen from her own ashes. And she will again after being knocked out by an elbow to the jaw in a recent game at Eastwood. It’s part of her fabric. “Even when my knee hurts, I try not to show it,” she said. “I don’t want to let my team down. I always try to put 100% effort into it no matter what. Even when we’re down in games, (fellow senior) Alex McNabb looks at me on kickoffs and says, ‘don’t give up.’ That keeps me going. If you keep believing, imagining things will come true, they will. Hopefully, things will turn around for us.” Erica believes she gets her athletic talent from both of her parents. Off the soccer field, Erica is active in Rave Revue show choir at RvHS. She loves to sing. She hopes to attend Marshall University and study athletic training. “I want to be able to help high school and college athletes to overcome injuries and be able to play the sports they love,” she said. “I know how someone has helped me in that role and I want to be able to help someone else like that. I know personally how hard it is not to be able to play the game you love.”
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