Katelin Richards is college bound. The Fernandina Beach High School senior recently signed a national letter of intent to play golf at the University of Albany.
“I’m heading up into the cold,” she said. “We went to New York around Christmas break, and we toured New York City. We flew to Albany, and toured the school and toured the city. And, I just really liked the atmosphere and the school program, the educational part and the sports programs they had to offer.
“I’m really looking forward to it.”
Richards plans to pursue pre-medicine at the Division I school.
“I want to be a dermatologist,” she said.
Richards says she’s looking forward to getting back into a classroom.
“It’s hard to find the motivation,” she said. “You’re in bed all day, and you have to get up and do your school work.”
As a senior, she said she’s “bummed” about all the activities she and her classmates are missing out on because of the distance learning.
“It’s like your last hurrah with your friends and your teachers,” she said. “So, we kind of got robbed of that. It’s kind of been sad. Prom, graduation.
“But, fortunately the golf courses are still open. I’m still able to play, so I got really lucky.”
Richards moved with her family from Alaska to Nassau County at the tail end of her sophomore year. She and her younger sister, Anika, were both members of the girls golf team at FBHS, and for the last two seasons, the Lady Pirates qualified for state.
FBHS went 13-1 in the regular season and finished as district and region runner-up, second only to Bolles. The Lady Pirates placed ninth in the state; Bolles was eighth.
“We went from 2A to 1A,” Richards said. “We went from a lot of public schools to only private. So, we were the No. 1 public school.
“We had beaten Bolles during the regular season. And, it was a really good feeling.”
The siblings led their team with rounds of 79, and in the region tournament, Richards fired an 80, one stroke ahead of her little sister. Richards had rounds of 76 and 75 to lead the Lady Pirates at state.
“I do everything with Anika,” Richards said. “Golf, school. She’s my built-in best friend, so when I go, it’s going to be really sad. And, I’m going to be so far.
“But, she wants to play in college as well. That would be cool, sisters on the same college team.”
“I am very proud of Katelin’s achievements,” FBHS Head Coach Christina Steffen said. “Her diligence and hard work on the course and in the classroom led her to this honor. I’m excited for her to have the opportunity to play Division I college golf. Knowing her work ethic and determination, I know she will have a successful college career.
“I wish her the best of luck and look forward to hearing all about her new adventures in this next chapter of her life. What an honor it has been to be your high school golf coach.”