The Dominion Post  

Richardson savors UHS’s run to state quarterfinals

Created on:   Wed, Nov 15, 2017   12:20 AM

Last modified:   Wed, Nov 15, 2017   12:20 AM

The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — Things have changed a lot at University High since wide receiver Amir Richardson was a freshman.

“Two years ago, we’re done with this season. We’re 2-8,” Richardson said. “It was terrible. It’s cold. It sucks. We were 0-7 at one point, and we lost the Mohawk Bowl.”

Fast forward to Richardson’s junior season, and things are looking up for the Hawks.

An undefeated regular season earned UHS the No. 3 seed in the Class AAA playoffs, and a definitive 37-7 win over No. 14 Spring Mills in the opening round has it set up to host No. 6 Capital in a state quarterfinal match-up, on Nov. 10, at Mylan Pharmaceuticals Stadium.

“To be right now, 11-0, going into the state quarterfinals, it’s just, you know, an amazing feeling,” Richardson said. “Coach (John) Kelley put discipline into our heads much more than two years ago. This year, there’s just a different vibe around the school, the whole team atmosphere. Everyone’s just on a more positive note than they were two years ago, and winning helps with that.”

Richardson has played a large part in the two-season turnaround. Richardson leads the Hawks in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns, tallying 44 catches for 642 yards and 14 touchdowns. Richardson also has 12 rushes for 74 yards and a touchdown, three kickoff returns for
71 yards and nine punt returns for 125 yards.

Richardson has also contributed on the defensive side of the ball, totaling 36 1/2 tackles, with 23 solo stops. In addition, he has notched 2 1/2 sacks, two interceptions and a fumble recovery.

“The role I have on this team is definitely to come up clutch in the big times and make as many big plays as possible,” Richardson said. “With me and Clay, I’ve been double covered a lot. When I do get the ball, I try to make the most of it, and every target I get I try to catch it as best as I can and always think touchdown or big play.”

In this way, Richardson evokes the role of other big-bodied, big-play receivers in football history, such as Wes Welker, Calvin Johnson and West Virginia’s own Randy Moss.

“I try to be the playmaker or be the distraction for other guys to make plays,” Richardson said.

To have such a large responsibility for a team and big impact on the game can be overwhelming, but Richardson just enjoys that he gets to contribute to a football program he cherishes.

“I feel great to be able to help my team out, and be a part of what we’re doing here. It’s special. This team has been through so much,” Richardson said.

Now that the time for success has come, Richardson said the goal is to take things step-by-step, in hopes that executing correctly will bring them the ultimate prize — a state title.

“The next step from here is definitely week-by-week, and we have to play these Capital guys,” Richardson said. “They’re very good, very athletic and very fast, but this is the most prepared team we’ve had here in years, and if anyone will do it, it’s going to be us.”