Pretty in navy


Brooke Secola

Senior Annie Richter signed to play lacrosse for the United States Naval Academy.

On May 1 every year, college shirts flood the hallways. Walking further down the halls we catch glimpses of Indiana University, Miami of Ohio, University of Illinois, University of Iowa, University of Michigan. The comfort schools. The schools close to home. But what people probably miss are the schools that no one is comfortable attending. Annie Richter is one girl who has broken that barrier. She walks around with her blue and gold Navy spirit wear, wearing it loud and proud.

Annie Richter always knew she wanted to play in college, but she didn’t know where. She had the grades and the skills, but the education was her number one priority. But one offer junior year would add a new egg to her basket. The Naval Academy had contacted one of her coaches with interest in her. With the amazing academics and incredible engineering program that they had, she continued to pursue her interest in them as well.

“The more I looked into the Academy and the more I visited, I realized that this was the absolute perfect fit in order to reach my goal of becoming a leader in all walks of life,” Richter said.

But this leadership did not come easy. As a freshman, Richter had made the Hinsdale Central varsity lacrosse team.

“The biggest difficulty I faced [as a freshman] was definitely not having enough confidence. It was a struggle to overcome and I feel as though I am still working today to embody the idea that ‘confidence is constant,” Richter said. “This means that you must have confidence on your good days and your bad days and I believe that it is a hard thing for everyone to stay confident even after a bad game or practice.”

This current and previous varsity lacrosse seasons, Richter has taken up the position as captain along with other senior, Mary Katherine Pyle. Their jobs as captains are not only to be the communicators of information on the team, but also the encouragers and role models for the younger players. Freshman Maria Mulvihill just joined the varsity roster this 2015 season.

“Being a freshman on varsity was so exciting. I had practiced with some of the upperclassmen before but I had never gotten to know them,” Mulvihill said. “It was also nerve racking knowing that the upperclassmen might not want to bond with the freshman on the team and I didn’t want to mess up and make a bad impression.”

Over spring break, the girls’ lacrosse team flew out to Washington, D.C. to play some of the top 20 teams in the nation. Mulvihill, along with another freshman who made the team, were given the opportunity to room with Richter.

“Annie gave me all sorts of advice about topics on and off the field. She really helped me to become comfortable around all of the girls and after only one night of rooming with her, I felt like a part of the team,” Mulvihill said.

Annie’s leadership is recognized across the team. Less than a month ago the lacrosse team went out to a tournament in Georgia. The tournament was called the Legacy Cup and before the tournament teammates had to vote on who would be the best nominee to receive a leadership award at the tournament. The nominee had to be a dedicated leader on the team who showed kindness, compassion, and competitiveness. The majority of the team voted Annie as the leader because of her positivity on and off the field.

“Annie’s leadership is especially apparent in games. While we were in DC, we played some of the hardest teams in the country. And each time we got scored on, Annie would get us into a huddle,” Mulvihill said. “She would give us advice on how to stop the ball next time, but more importantly she continued to stay kind and energetic. She never got down on the team, she always kept working hard and we followed.”

With already having the leadership needed to be successful at Navy, Annie continues to work on the next important aspect of joining the military, the physical aspect.

“So far I have just been doing physical preparation. This includes sit ups and push ups every night and tough cardio on the weekends. However, once I get closer to the day I leave I will need to do more mental preparation,” Richter said.

With almost ten seniors graduating this year, new players are beginning to step up as leaders. But, many of the girls are looking to Annie for leadership skills.

“Annie Richter is definitely a role model for me because of her competitiveness on the field and her kindness to everyone everywhere. Annie is a very talented lacrosse player, and you can see it through her work ethic at practice,” Mulvihill said. “Ever since I picked up a stick I have looked up to Annie because there is nobody like her. She works so hard to accomplish her goals and anyone who knows her would tell you the same thing.”

Annie leaves for Naval Academy in late June. Knowing the effects Annie has made on people at Hinsdale Central makes her a prime candidate for a successful future at Navy.