Levi Richards signs with Harvard

Newton High School’s Levi Richards (seated center) signs a letter of intent to play football for Harvard University. He is flanked by his parents, Lisa and Anthony Richards. Back, left to right, are Newton High School coaches Bob Horst and Jason Fulton.

Levi Richards, a talented Newton High School athlete who excelled in football and track, has inked a letter of intent to play football for Harvard University next season.

Richards, the son of Lisa and Anthony Richards, put together a stellar career for Coach Bob Horst's Eagles.

"What can you say about Harvard," said Coach Horst. "It's an excellent school. Levi should be an impact player right away."

Richards was named All-Apollo Conference his sophomore, junior and senior years and All-Area for those three years. He was named All-State his junior and senior season and All-State Academic his sophomore through senior years.

And that was just in football. In track, Richards earned All-Conference his freshman through junior years and All-State those three seasons with the upcoming season looking just as bright.

"Levi is exactly what we are looking for at Harvard," said Harvard Coach Tim Murphy. "He's a great athlete who takes pride in his academics.

"Levi gives us speed, athleticism and game-breaking ability. We hope he can come in and compete for a wide receiver position right away.

"The biggest adjustment for a freshman in college football is the physical maturity of the upperclassmen and the learning curve with a more complex scheme."

Richards is undecided on a major.

"I chose Harvard because it's a great environment," said Richards. "I need to work on my strength and weight. My strengths include my speed and athleticism."

"Levi knows he has the speed and the moves," said Coach Horst. "Those are his strengths. He needs to be challenged every day at the college level. Levi was well-respected by his teammates."

"We have finished first or second in the Ivy league six of the last seven years," said Coach Murphy. "Our goal once again for 2007 is the Ivy League championship."

Richards helped lead the Newton football team to a second-place finish at state his junior season and to the Class A state championship in track, also during his junior year.

Richards will play wide receiver and be a member of the kickoff and punt return teams.

Millie Lange can be reached at 217-347-7151 ext. 124 or millie.lange@effinghamdailynews.com

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