Athlete Spotlight: James Wood High School boys' tennis player Trent Richards

593788d57e253.imageBy ROBERT NIEDZWIECKI | The Winchester Star

James Wood High School 17-year-old senior

Sport: Tennis. Position: No. 3 singles and No. 2 and No. 3 doubles

Parents: John and Samantha Richards. Hometown: Winchester

What do you love about tennis: It relaxes me. When I play, I forget about everything that’s negative in the world. I’m in the moment.

Most memorable moment in tennis: My junior year, when we played against Woodgrove in the [first round of the Conference 21 West tournament]. We needed one more singles win to have a chance to beat them, and it went down to a tiebreaker in the third set. I was down 5-2 or 5-1, and I came back and won it. I dug deep for it. Both my legs were cramping, so I was kind of hopping around the court, and it took a lot of mental focus to stay in the game. There were a lot of times where I thought I could just stop. My teammate at the time, Austin Harney, told me, ‘Just hit the ball in. [Your opponent] will get frustrated and lose.’ Our team went on to win the match in doubles.

Most embarrassing moment in tennis: It’s not specifically one moment, but I tend to miss every overhead I go for.

Three people you can have dinner with, dead or alive: Jesus; I would like to pick his brain. Having a conversation with him would be awesome. The fact that so many people follow him, and his words, and his lifestyle, that would be neat to talk to him. John Wall; he’s my favorite basketball player, and basketball’s another big part of my life. And my friend Chris Hannah; because he’s a really cool guy.

Food you can’t do without: Shrimp. I eat it two or three times a week. Every year on my birthday, we go to Red Lobster and I order shrimp.

Favorite superhero: Spider-Man. Growing up, he was my favorite. He’s funny. He’s the coolest one.

Favorite teacher: [James Wood teacher Stewart] Belkin. He made me feel important. He taught me in government this year.

Favorite athlete: John Wall

Favorite sports team: Washington Wizards

Favorite movie: “Rocky III”

Favorite TV show: “Futurama”

Favorite song: “Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson

Favorite ice cream flavor: Mint chocolate chip

Plans after high school: I’m going to go to LFCC for two years, and then hopefully continue to George Mason. I’m not sure what I want to study yet, but maybe political science. I just love talking about politics. I always argue politics with my friends.

— Compiled by Robert Niedzwiecki

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