Q&a Erika Richardson, Patterson Mill, Tennis

A team player off the court, too

May 04, 2008

Erika Richardson has been one of the most consistent players on the surprising Patterson Mill tennis team this spring. Richardson plays doubles for the first-year school. The Huskies have led the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference's Susquehanna Division most of the season, and were unbeaten in the division through the middle of last week.

She enjoys playing tennis with members of her family, including cousins Megan and Garrett Lange, who play for Bel Air. Richardson, a freshman, is a honor roll student and tutors middle-school students.

How much is your tennis team enjoying this season and its surprising success?

We are always laughing and having a good time, whether it's practice or a match, but we're serious at the same time. We are all very supportive of the team, and everyone gets along surprisingly well, which is just great. We were all definitely surprised by how well we've done this season, but extremely excited.

How good can your team be over the next few years, especially since this team is all freshmen and sophomores?

Next year we'll have three grades, but since we had such a good record this year, we'll probably be in the higher division, and if we do play in the higher division, it will definitely be a challenge.

What are your goals in tennis? You play doubles now, but do you want to get a shot at playing singles at some point?

I've played singles in one match this year, and I really enjoyed it, but I also like doubles. Even though tennis is kind of an individual sport or just with your partner, the team is what matters most, and I want to play where I can be the best I can for the team.

You work with and tutor younger kids. How much do you enjoy doing that?

Being a tutor is so rewarding, just knowing that you can help them do better in school and show them a different way of looking at something that maybe helped you in the past. And the kids think you're so cool because you're a high schooler and they really look up to you, so that's really cool to know.

You've done very well with your grades this year. What are your favorite subjects?

My favorite subject is definitely math. I absolutely love math. I could sit down and do math problems for hours and not get bored. There's just so many new concepts that you can learn in math, and all the new ones just build on to old ones, so you can't really forget them, and I love that. I also really like German. German is such a fun language, and my teacher is also our tennis coach, Ms. [Heather] Consla, and she's just amazing.

What's in your iPod now?

Oh wow, let's see. I have a lot of songs, over 1,000, since I like all kinds of music. Right now, I really like John Mayer, Maroon 5, Jon McLaughlin and Matt Nathanson. The song with the most plays is "Come On Get Higher" by Matt Nathanson.

You keep very busy for a first-year high school student. Does keeping busy make life more fun for you?

Absolutely. It can be a little much at times, with tennis and my extracurriculars, and the work for some of the more difficult classes, but I love it. Sometimes I don't have as much free time as I'd like, but I enjoy being involved in so many things because I get to know so many more people and I get to experience so many different things.

What other groups and clubs are you involved in at Patterson Mill?

I play flute in the concert band, and that's really a lot of fun. I am also in Renaissance. We specialize in making sure that all groups are recognized. We also try to find ways of how we will "leave our mark" at Patterson Mill. I am also a student ambassador. We help people find their way around the school since its new and so large, and we also do other things like stand in the lobby when people come and point them in the right direction, and hand out information and things like that.

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