Reichardt leaves behind an example to be followed

SIDELINES

January 29, 1995|By PAT O'MALLEY

In the spring of Kevin Reichardt's senior year in 1993 at St. Mary's High in Annapolis, lacrosse coach and school president Jim Moorhead wrote of his standout student-athlete, "I will miss him as a player and as a person."

Sadly and unfairly enough, Moorhead, Reichardt's family and all those who knew this exceptional young man will miss Kevin forever.

The 20-year-old Reichardt, a scholarship lacrosse player and business major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was the fatal victim of a random shooting on Thursday. A troubled, third-year North Carolina law student was charged with the murder of Reichardt and another man.

Moorhead's letter in the spring of 1993 was one of many to recommend Reichardt for the Anne Arundel County Sun All-County Academic-Athletic Team. Reichardt was an easy choice.

Reichardt was more than an All-Metro lacrosse midfielder and great athlete with eight varsity letters in soccer, basketball and lacrosse. He was a four-year starter capping his high school career by leading the Saints to the Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference lacrosse title in 1993.

He was a great person, one to be imitated.

A handsome young man, Reichardt was one of those rare youths who gave older people faith in young because of the example he set.

"Kevin demonstrated a commitment to the total school program, always there to see a project through," said St. Mary's principal, Sister Phyllis McNally. "I will miss his support, service and leadership at school."

A captain in all three sports, Reichardt, ranked 21st in a class of 139, had a 3.9 grade-point average and SAT score of 1120, excelling in honors courses.

President of the Student Government in his senior year and a member of the National Honor Society, he still found time to organize and direct several school activities, such as Toys for Tots, Back to School Dance, Open House, the Christmas Dance and Spirit Week.

"People are drawn to Kevin because of his integrity," Sister Phyllis said then. "Students and faculty respect him because he is a man of his word. Honest at all times, he treats each student and teacher with respect, and most of all he listens to them."

Each morning at St. Mary's, Reichardt led the school in opening exercises. His maturity in handling office situations for the principal and administration impressed more than one observer.

"Leadership qualities are needed to handle such positions and they were evident in Kevin," said Sister Phyllis.

Peg K. Smith, a St. Mary's advanced placement American government teacher, echoed the opinion of Sister Phyllis in a recommendation letter she wrote for Kevin in 1993.

"His classroom behavior has demonstrated leadership skills, which have earned him the respect of his peers," wrote Smith.

Reichardt was a born leader admired by his peers and teachers in high school and those attributes followed him to college. In just his second year at Chapel Hill, he already had made quite an impression.

Twice in three semesters, he had been named to the Dean's List, made the Atlantic Coast Conference honor roll and was carrying a 3.7 grade-point average. He was also a member of the Student/Athlete Advisory Council at Chapel Hill.

His parents, Karl and Carol Reichardt, were in Florida about to embark on a cruise when they got the news. Hours before the incident, they had called Kevin to say goodbye and told him they loved him.

Kevin turned 20 on Jan. 20 and his family threw a party for him.

Just a week ago, his older brother, Kurt, had paid Kevin a surprise visit at Chapel Hill and told him he was getting married. Kurt asked Kevin to be his best man.

These are tough times for the Reichardts and many others, including the St. Mary's community and the North Carolina lacrosse team, which will attend the 1 p.m. funeral on Tuesday at St. Mary's Church, Duke of Gloucester Street in Annapolis.

A visitation will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at Taylor Funeral Home, next door to St. Mary's. Instead of flowers, the family is asking that donations be sent to the St. Mary's Memorial Leadership and Scholarship Fund in Kevin's honor.

l Certainly this was a young man whose name and character should be perpetuated and any scholarship earned with his name would be nothing less than an honor.

In an essay Kevin wrote applying for the Academic-Athletic Team in '93, he said, "When a person is a member of a team, that person learns the importance of working together with other people in order to accomplish certain goals.

"Setting and reaching goals can be carried over to every facet of one's life."

That is the way Kevin Reichardt lived and what he leaves us are fond memories of a wonderful young man never to be forgotten.

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