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By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

After earning first-team All-American football honors last season at Hutchinson Community College and spending a short time at Division I Toledo, former Highland Park multi-sport star Tre Richardson decided that home is where his heart is.

TreRichardsonFB 2Former Highland Park star and Hutchinson All-American Tre Richardson is transferring to Washburn to be a dual sport athlete in football and track and field. [File photo/TSN]

TreRichardsonTRACK 1A two-time Class 5A state champion last spring at Highland Park, Tre Richardson plans to run track and play football at Washburn. [File photo/TSN]

Richardson, the 2023 Topeka Shawnee County Male Athlete of the Year, told TopSports.news Sunday night that he is transferring to Washburn where he will be a dual sport athlete in football and track and field for the Ichabods.

"What made me decide was the connection and care that the coaches showed on both sides,'' Richardson said. "In football they showed me how they were going to use me and I liked it and then track, I wanted to get back into track and the fact that they were excited for me to do both and not interfere with each other made me see that they really wanted me there.''

Richardson said the opportunity to be able to play in front of his friends and family was also a big drawing card to Washburn.

"I felt like it would be nice to play in front of a crowd that I know and knows me since high school,'' he said. "I've seen how the community helps Washburn and shows love and comes to the games and supports everybody and that's what I want around me and my son.

"I want him around a caring community and I feel like that's Washburn.''

Richardson was a four-sport athlete at Highland Park, earning first-team All-Shawnee County recognition in football, basketball and track.

A 5-foot-11, 195-pound receiver/return specialist, earned first-team All-NJCAA Division I first-team All-America honors last fall as a return specialist for Hutchinson Community College, which posted a 10-1 record and reached the national semifinals. 

Richardson ranked No. 2 in the nation with a 27.1-yard average on kickoff returns and No. 2 with a 16.2-yard average on punt returns. Richardson returned one kickoff and two punts for touchdowns. Richardson finished the season with 1,332 all-purpose yards.

Following his freshman season for Hutchinson, Richardson transferred to Toledo, but he entered the transfer portal earlier this spring.

Richardson is expected to be used as a returner, receiver and running back for Craig Schurig's Ichabods. 

Richardson had a monster football senior season for the Scots in 2022, helping Highland Park snap an eight-year losing streak on the way to a breakout 6-3 season. Richardson rushed for 1,964 yards and 27 touchdowns and caught 40 passes for 1,079 yards and 15 TDs.

Richardson also starred in basketball in the 2022-2023 season as Highland Park posted a 24-1 record and finished third in the Class 5A state tournament as Richardson averaged 16 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals.

Richardson ended his prep career for Highland Park with a 33-point effort in last spring's Class 5A state track and field championships, winning a pair of state titles while adding second and fourth-place finishes.

He led the Scots to a ninth-place team finish, outscoring 22 other 5A schools by himself. Richardson won the 100-meter dash (10.73 seconds) and long jump (23 feet, 4.50 inches), finished second in the triple jump (46-5.75) and fourth in the 200 dash (22.49) after aggravating an injury prior to that race.

By his own admission Richardson wasn't always a big fan of track and field, but he said being away from the sport made him miss it.

"It made me want to get out there,'' he said. "I'll be watching people training for the Olympics and I feel like I could do something like that, so it made me come out of retirement.

"I'd be going to the city meet and I went to regionals and I was like, 'I kind of do miss running a little bit.' ''

And Richardson said it just feels good to be home.

"It feels great actually.''

 

 

 

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