Richardson leaves his mark at Northwestern
Cam Richardson leaves Northwestern Lehigh High School having left his mark on the sports program.
Richardson played a key role in turning around the football program that earned an Eastern Conference title in the 2013 season and a district championship this past season.
In track, Richardson collected two medals in this year's district events, finishing fourth in the 100-meter and second in the 200.
While Richardson's name is dotted all over the record books at Northwestern for his athletic accomplishments, along with those records, people are quick to mention his attitude and personality.
Football coach Josh Snyder believes that Richardson has impacted the sports program far beyond just the numbers in the record books.
"Cam's a special type of kid," said Snyder. "Obviously with all of the accolades he's gotten in track and in football and he was a [Via] All-Star in basketball, but he's just a fine young man. You don't come across that too often in high school athletics, where you have a kid that's a star, but is so humble and doesn't take much credit for himself. Instead, he defers to his teammates and is respectful to his coaches, always gives credit where credit is due, outside of himself.
"That's the type of kid that a coach just wants to have and it rubs off on the younger kids and his classmates, so Cam is a special kid in that regard."
Being a part of football, track and basketball, Richardson has varied memories of all three sports.
The football program had an impressive turnaround during his tenure and in track, Richardson was a part of some historic events, even at the state level. Basketball taught him to deal with different coaches, with each one looking for him to do things a little differently.
The football program went from being a doormat in the Colonial League to winning districts this past season, thanks to a senior class that took its lumps early on as sophomores, but wound up with district gold in their final season.
That moment, along with a fourth-place finish in track at states as a junior are among Richardson's proudest moments.
"That's got to be one of the biggest memories of my high school career," said Richardson of winning districts to complete the turnaround of the football program. "For track, it was going to states my junior year with my four-by-one team and finishing fourth, which was a great thing for us, having run a great time and having the school record.
"I believe that record's probably going to be there for a long time. Overall, my high school career was a lot of fun."
One of Richardson's accomplishments, finishing fourth in the 100-meter event at districts, has already had an impact on someone other than Richardson. After the meet, Richardson gave the medal to Trey Snyder, the four-year old son of his football coach. The gesture was something that just felt right to Richardson and just epitomized the type of kid that he is to his football coach.
"That hits home to me, knowing that he would give a piece of his accomplishment to my son," said Snyder. "That just, again, goes to prove the type of kid that he is and I think his parents have a lot to do with how he acts and how he operates with his coaches and everybody."
"I'm sure one day, he'll be a great athlete and it felt nice to give it to him," Richardson said. "I didn't think I'd really need it or want it and I'm sure it's something that he'll look upon one day when he's a little bit older and think 'I can be there one day." Maybe he'll do things better than I ever did."
Besides his medals in track at the state, district and league level, Richardson accomplished some special things on the football field, some of which are likely to stand for a long time.
Richardson finished with 47 receptions for 758 yards last season, both of which are school records for a season. He is also the first Northwestern player in history who has rushed for over a 1,000 yards and caught passes for over 1,000 yards in his career. With his accomplishments in three sports, Richardson is one of the more decorated athletes in the school's history, but he's not ready to crow about his accomplishments.
"I don't know if it's really set in yet, only being a few months out, but I'm sure one day I'll look back on it," said Richardson. "I used to give coach Snyder a little bit of heck when I broke his records, but I told him that his son's probably going to break my records one day, so he doesn't really have to worry.
"I think it's just something that younger kids can look up to and strive to beat."