Ron Richmond has been key to Parkway's success in LHSAA football playoffs
Call it an epiphany or whatever you will, but Parkway running back Rontavious "Ron" Richmond had a light-bulb moment sometime around the end of the Panthers’ regular season.
The senior speedster has arguably been the most talented athlete for coach Coy Brotherton the last couple of seasons, but he hasn’t always played like it. A key factor in his development was moving to the South Bossier school district as an eighth grader.
“Since my time at Parkway, I have grown as a man and leader,” Richmond said. “Relocating from Shreveport to Bossier was the best move my family could have made. I gained a great support system that became family. I no longer feel like the world is against me. I realized it was me against me the whole time.
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“I came to Parkway as a boy unsure of himself, but I’m leaving as a man that’s confident in my ability to do anything my heart desires.”
An excellent receiver out of the backfield, the 5-foot-11, 195-pound Richmond has helped the Panthers (8-4) pull off upset victories over Alexandria and No. 2 seeded Captain Shreve during the past two weeks. He’s run for 706 yards and eight touchdowns in those two games. He has 2,122 rushing and receiving yards and 24 touchdowns for the season. He broke the school record for rushing yards in a game against ASH with 314 yards and broke the school record for total career yards last week against Shreve.
“Ron is putting up video game numbers right now,” Brotherton said. “He may be the best player I’ve ever coached.”
Of the six District 1-5A teams that advanced to the postseason, Parkway is the only one still competing for a title. The No. 18 Panthers will host No. 7 Acadiana (10-2) at 7 p.m. Friday in Preston Crownover Stadium hoping the bond they’ve developed during the season is enough to get them to the semifinals.
“We all get along well and we’re a lot more comfortable with each other. It’s like a brotherhood,” Richmond said. “We all joke around sometimes but when it’s time to get serious, we do that.”
Richmond doesn’t yet have collegiate offers, but he expects to go the junior college route after a spring of running track for Parkway. He knows what he’d do if he had a senior year do-over.
“I would work harder,” he said. “I feel like I had a great season, but I always have room for improvement.”
Jimmy Watson covers Shreveport-Bossier area sports. Email him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @JimmyWatson6.