North Carolina People, Places, and Things-May 15
I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.
In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special.
Today is my son Kyle’s birthday. He is a college soccer coach that I believe has a bright future if he keeps working hard and continues to associate himself with great people.
My son Kyle Kenney below.
As son who is a college coach he often talks to me as a former college coach. Sometimes those father son conversations reflect on special moments in season with a team. Often those moments become a legacy for an athlete, coach, team, or even a university.
Today is also the birthday of Kevin Richardson. Kevin turns 30 today and is a former walk-on football player for Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. Kevin Richardson played high school football at East Bladen HS in Elizabethtown, NC.
In 2003, he rushed for 2,225 yards and 36 touchdowns. He was coach Lenon Fisher’s primary offensive weapon, and the Eagles were 13-0 entering the 2-A Eastern finals. Richardson rushed for 108 yards, but Southwest Onslow prevailed, 23-17.
Plenty of colleges were interested in Richardson, but scholarship offers were withheld as he struggled to attain the required NCAA minimum score on the SAT. Richardson finally made the grade late in the spring, at which point most schools had exhausted their supply of grants-in-aid. Included in that group was Appalachian State, which Richardson chose to attend as a walk-on. By the time classes began in the fall, a scholarship had become available and was given to Richardson.
That turned out to be a great investment on the part of the Mountaineers. He helped lead them to NCAA Division I-AA (now Football Championship Series) titles from 2005-07. He set the school’s career rushing record with 4,804 yards, including a 1,676-yard junior season that saw him reach the end zone 30 times. His 66 career touchdowns ranks third in FCS history.
The legacy moment for Kevin came on Sept. 1, 2007 during his senior year with at game at Michigan. I remember it well because I was driving from Pembroke to Davidson NC to watch UNCP play its first football game against Davidson College.
The Mountaineers, clearly the underdog at fifth-ranked Michigan, stunned the 109,000 fans on hand with a 34-32 victory. A photo of Richardson shushing the crowd with one finger and another pointing at “Appalachian State” on his jersey covered two pages inside Sports Illustrated and ran in papers across the country.
Kevin telling the “Big House” to be quiet.
For the players, coaches, and fans of the 2007 Appalachian State Football Team this will always be a legacy moment.
Today Kevin Richardson is a front tire carrier for NASCAR Sprint driver #34 Chris Buescher. Kevin seen on the right.
Happy Birthday Kyle and Kevin-hope you both keep creating legacy moments for your families and teams.