HEADstrong Lacrosse: Preparing For The Next Level With Noah Richard
By: Jennifer Hoffman
Growing up Noah Richard never expected to be playing professional lacrosse; it kind of just happened.
The Marquette alum and West Chester native was drafted 25th overall by Atlas LC in the 2019 PLL Draft, and has since been traded to the Waterdogs via the 2020 expansion draft. And although he may be living life on the West Coast, playing big league lax, Noah hasn’t forgotten where he came from.
HEADstrong Lacrosse was a pivotal moment in his lacrosse career. Following in his older brother Jacob’s footsteps, Noah’s parents thought it would be a good idea for him to go to one of the HEADstrong tryouts. “What drew me in about HLC was their mission and their story. At the time, everyone wanted to get recruited, but my parents felt like it would be more valuable to be involved with a club that provided an experience more than just lacrosse.” Noah said.
He came to HEADstrong with raw athletic ability. He just needed some help to sharpen his craft. Michael Colleluori noticed his potential right away, and was able to give him the confidence boost that he needed. Coach Mike helped Noah sharpen his skills, become more confident and switched him to a short stick midfielder. No longer in his brother’s shadow, it was Noah’s time to shine.
Noah suited up in the lime green HLC jersey throughout his high school recruiting years. Those seasons shaped him as a player and were instrumental in his growth on and off the field. Going in to that first try out, Noah didn’t know if he had it in him but when his time at HEADstrong was over, he knew he could accomplish his dreams and make them a reality.
“HEADstrong Lacrosse showed me that you aren’t just playing for yourself to get into college, but understanding why you play. That there is a bigger purpose. It prepared me most for the next level. The intensity of play but the understanding that lax can be used as a vehicle for something greater than yourself,” remarked Noah.
Unlike many of his peers, being recruited to play collegiate lacrosse was never at the forefront of Noah’s mind. “I saw all of my buddies getting picked up, but it just didn’t really work out for me,” he said.
Coach Mike knew his potential and believed in Noah, so he made a few phone calls and reached out to coaches that he knew to put in a good word. Coach Joe Amplo of Marquette took a chance on Noah’s brother Jacob, and so he felt confident in giving Noah an opportunity, bringing him into the program in 2016.
Going into Marquette, Noah just wanted to be a good teammate, but his time there turned out to be so much more. He wore #25 in honor of his older brother Christopher, who passed away from cerebral palsy. That was Noah’s Why. Why he got up every morning and trained, who every goal was for, who was his motivation to do better than the day before. He did it all for his brother Christopher.
Every day Noah worked hard and through his struggles, he emerged confident. By the end of his sophomore year he realized he was more than just a good teammate, but a good player; a great player. Coach Amplo’s locker room vibes were similar to the environment instilled at HEADstrong: how to be a good person, be of service to others, finding out your ‘Why’, and that the commitment is about more than just lacrosse. Buying into this mentality was nothing new for Noah, he already embodied that persona.
“My experience at Marquette as a whole, I would characterize it as a major growing experience. Overcoming different adversities, the most important part of playing lacrosse was making relationships as a team, something Coach Amplo stressed from the beginning,” stated Noah.
As Noah’s confidence grew, it became increasingly apparent to those around him that he was the real deal. He rose to the occasion in Division I Lacrosse, dawning the ‘C’ for the Golden Eagles, being named to the First Team All-Big East in 2019 and named 2019 Big East Defensive Player of the Year.
Noah was here to play.
He stepped up to the plate again, proving his ability when he was drafted into the PLL. During his rookie season with Atlas he emerged as a standout long stick midfielder, which caught the eyes of the Waterdogs.
“I was there for a reason. I took what I learned from my previous clubs and applied it to what I’m doing now. Work hard, don’t give up, play relentless.” he said.
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the PLL season is on pause but Noah is still keeping up with training and workout routines the best he can given that the gyms are closed. He is supplementing with more body weight workouts, running and just recently began swimming.
Noah will be leading a webinar on April 23rd, 2020 at 7:00pm sharing some key points and lessons that he’s learned throughout his career so far. He wants to be an inspiration and help young lacrosse players whose shoes he was once in, to show them that you can do it.
You can register and tune in to his webinar by clicking here.