New Dorp's Richardson enjoys remarkable rise
Shannon Richardson arrived at New Dorp three years ago a football player, wanting to follow his older brother Alton’s footsteps and be a standout running back in the PSAL.
But even smaller than Alton, who enjoyed a stellar career at Fort Hamilton, the gridiron wasn’t in Shannon’s future. His father made a suggestion.
“How about lacrosse?” he asked.
Shannon took his father’s suggestion and ran with it – literally – right to the point of signing a National Letter of Intent with Division II Alderson-Broaddus College in Philippi, West Virginia.
“It feels great,” Shannon said. “I don’t know many people who can pick up a new sport and in three years go this far with it.”
It’s rare, according to New Dorp lacrosse coach Brian Murphy. However he pointed to Andrew Fiore, the older brother of All-American goalie Chris Fiore, as someone who also made that remarkable transformation. A former All-American attacker at New Dorp, Andrew is now at Onondaga Community College.
Murphy believes both examples are a testament to the work his coaching staff puts in to teach the game from a grassroots perspective. But Shannon also had some special qualities that helped him earn instant success.
“He fell in love with the game instantly and really worked hard to better his game year in and year out and we’re really proud of him,” Murphy said. “He’s a great student, a really nice kid and has the respect of all of his teammates.”
Shannon said he was looking to go to a small college and was interested in becoming an athletic trainer. He found everything he wanted in Alderson-Broaddus as soon as he visited the campus in tiny Philippi, West Virginia, population 2,870.
“I thought the school was very nice,” Shannon said. “It’s a quiet school. I think I’ll fit in great in the campus environment… And I thought they had a great athletic training facility, which was the top of it all.”
Shannon said he also likes the fact that he’s part of Alderson-Broaddus’ first-ever recruiting class. He chose the school over Bridgewater College in Virginia and Shorter University in Georgia.
The 5-foot-6, 140-pound attacker has already matched his goal total from a year ago, scoring 12 times in seven matches, joining Shawn Brackett, Kyle Hand and Adrian Cobaj in a dangerous Central Cougars attack.
“It makes things a lot easier and takes the weight off me because I know other people have my back who I can really trust,” Shannon said.
Shannon has a great first step and uses his speed to his advantage, but Murphy said he Shannon some intangibles that separate him from other lacrosse players.
“He has tremendous patience,” Murphy said. “His emotions are always on an even keel. When things don’t go so well he doesn’t get too frustrated about it, continues to work hard and he plays through it… He surprises a lot of people.”
While Shannon said signing his NLI was “a great experience,” he’s not about to rest on his laurels. There’s a PSAL title to play for and plenty of doubters to silence.
“I still have something to prove,” Shannon said. “I know people are still going to doubt me because of my height and say that I shouldn’t be a D-II player…I can’t start slacking now.”
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