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The home for coverage of all FHC athletics

FHC Sports Report

The home for coverage of all FHC athletics

FHC Sports Report

Division I commit Max Richardson battles back from injury


With the changes in the colors of the leaves, crisp breeze throughout the air, and fall sports in full swing, many fall sport athletes are finally getting into the motions of what is to come. However, for one athlete in particular, his season has only just begun: Max Richardson.

Due to a week-zero scrimmage against Caledonia, Richardson tore three ligaments on the outside of his ankle, sidelined him for the first three games of the season. Even with a painful physical injury, Richardson said it impacted his mental health as well.

Max Richardson (#7) with teammate Ty Hudkins (#5)

“It was more of a mental issue,” Richardson said. “They told me six to eight weeks, so that was kind of a hard number for me. Obviously, I made it back in four, which felt a lot better than six to eight, but nothing can really prepare you for that because I was training all year for that season, and that gets taken away and feels almost devastating.”

Not only would this injury impact Richardson but his team as a whole. With him being an offensive and defensive starter on the varsity football team this year, head coach Tim Rogers said the team had to step up to fill Richardson’s shoes.

“The challenge of replacing Max has been difficult,” Rogers said. “Matt Sexton stepped in and did an admirable job replacing Max on offense. Seder Middaugh stepped in on defense, and he too, did an excellent job. Both Matt and Seder show great promise for the future. Whenever we have an injury, our team pulls together, and everyone does a little extra. Through three games, players and coaches have worked a little harder to fill Max’s void.”

Although an injury can set a player back tremendously, Richardson has made sure to do as much as possible to stay in the best shape and remain healthy. This comes with many doctor visits from multiple different professionals.

“I saw more doctors than I’ve ever seen in my life,” Richardson said. “I think the combination of that—seeing a lot of people with different opinions—and doing the treatments that they told me to do consistently let me get back.”

Richardson also said that it was not only the doctors that allowed him to get back but the training he did alongside them, which made it a lot easier to rejoin the battle out on the field.

“I did a lot of upper body workouts,” Richardson said. “I also could do the aerobic bikes—which are great—so I used a lot of those cardio machines that don’t affect the ankle flexibility.”

Even though he can now get back to the field and play with his teammates, there is still a slow process going forward to get him to where he was last year. When he was able to step back out on Friday, Sept. 15 against FHN, he could only play offensively. The football coaching staff made the decision to prevent him from reinjuring himself.

“We are going to do it slowly,” Rogers said. “He is back, but he is not 100% just yet, so we let him play one side of the ball—he played offense pretty much all game. Slowly but surely, we will get him into both phases of the game, but right now, it is still a slow re-entry rather than just throwing him on both sides of the ball.”

Even with this setback for Richardson, its fueled him even more to get back to where he was, as he has committed to Stanford University. Although a decision like this can be quite stressful, and most take in multiple views from others to help one come to a conclusion, Richardson decided that this would be made by himself.

“I called into Stanford and told the head coach that I would commit,” Richardson said. “Then I told my family, so it was kind of a surprise for them too.”

But no decision like this can be made without the countless hours spent on and off the field to prepare and improve one’s ability. That, along with the many influences, allowed Richardson to get to where he is today.

“There have been a lot of influences,” Richardson said. “My dad’s friend Joe Cebulski was an Olympic athlete and has helped me a lot with my training. The football staff here is great at preparing you for the next level. Then both my parents were division athletes; they are both great at being positive influences and navigating me through that course.”

Even with this setback that Richardson has had to face early on in the 2023 football season, he is more ready than ever to continue to play and improve as he progresses through his junior season. And as he looks back at last week’s game and how he played, he is looking forward to getting back out on the field again and playing at home against Byron Center.

“It was good to be back on the field,” Richardson said. “I think I had a decent day, but I think it will be a lot better this week.”

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Olivia Oorbeck
Olivia Oorbeck, Editor-in-Chief
Olivia Oorbeck is a senior on the FHC Sports Report. She is excited about entering her second and final year on the staff. This year, she received the title of editor-in-chief alongside Lily Ohlman. Olivia was a competitive swimmer for eleven years but is part of the ski and water polo teams here at FHC. Her favorite things to do in her free time are art, makeup, or reading. She is an avid sports fan and loves learning new things about different sports. When she graduates, she hopes to go into aviation or aeronautical engineering. Although she doesn't plan on going into any form of journalism, she has a passion for writing and the experiences that come along with it. Her favorite sports team: The Chicago Cubs Her dream vacation: Most places throughout Europe Her pets: She has three dogs and three cats Unusual facts about her: She prefers cold weather over warm weather, so winter is her favorite season; tea over coffee any day; knows how to fly a plane better than driving a boat; and can very much be an introvert at times even though she seems like an extrovert.

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