The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


January 23, 2013

First Ayd(en)!

Geneva youngster is quite healthy at free-throw line as he wins Hoop Shoot district crown

Ayden Richmond had competed at the district competition for the Elks Hoop Shoot in Ravenna before and the result wasn’t exactly what he wanted.

When the son of Jodi (Springer) and Jeff Richmond returned for a second go at it on Jan. 12, he knew exactly what he was going to do to give himself the best possible chance to win.

“We practice a lot,” Jeff Richmond said. “We come up to Spire or go to whatever gym we can sneak into and he shoots 200 shots every night. We practice the physical, but we talk about the mental part, too.

“Last year at Ravenna, he was very intimidated. I told him it doesn’t matter what everyone else does, just what he does. He decided he didn’t want to watch the other kids shoot.”

“I just don’t like to watch the other kids shoot,” Ayden Richmond said. “It makes me nervous.”

The younger Richmond, a 9-year-old third grader at Cork Elementary, made the most of his return trip and won the 8-9-year-old division, making 23 of 25 shots to force a tie and send the competition into a shootoff. Richmond made all five of his attempts, while the other competitor made just four, to give him the district championship.

“I was very excited,” Ayden Richmond said. “It was a little (scary), but I’m used to shooting 200 shots per day.”

“He had no clue he won until the shootoff,” Jeff Richmond said. “The director came over after and asked if I realized Ayden didn’t watch the other kids shoot. He said that’s what they do at regionals and nationals. He said that when the other kids are shooting, they might be reading books.”

Richmond will head to the state competition on Feb. 9. Should he continue to shoot well, there could be stops in Angola, Ind. for the regional and, possibly, Springfield, Mass. for the nationals.

Keeping a mental edge at the Hoop Shoot is important, given that a pin drop can be heard in the gymnasiums and all eyes are focused on the shooters.

“There are six hoops going at the same time with one kid shooting at each hoop,” Richmond said. “There’s a scorekeeper and a rebounder at each hoop and there’s total silence. They shoot 10 shots then, after everybody has taken their shots, they shoot 15 more.

“Ayden made 20 of 25 to win the Ashtabula competition, then actually got better and made 23 of 25 at the district and tied.

“He knew the kid he was shooting against was tough. That kid had to have a shootoff last year and he went 25 (extra) shots until he missed. He made 46 of 50 shots and lost. We knew he’d be good.”

“I think (I won) because I didn’t get upset when I missed a shot,” Ayden Richmond said. “I had a short memory.”

As nerve-wracking as it is for the competitors, it might be worse for the parents.

“It’s 100 times worse than if I were competing myself,” Jeff Richmond said. “The whole, we’re sitting there sweating and praying. I can’t even describe what it’s like. I’d rather be out there doing it myself.

“But Ayden stays focused and he makes us proud.”

Ayden Richmond got into the competition through his normal school routine.

“Nancy Patterson does the Cork Elementary portion of the competition as part of her gym classes,” Jeff Richmond said. “She starts the boys and girls when they’re 8 or 9 and does it right there during the school day as part of their gym classes.

“She deserves a lot of the credit. She’s done that for years. There’s also the local Elks and J.P. (Ducro) does a good job getting the word out.”

Good free-throw shooting runs in Ayden Richmond’s blood. His mom was 43 of 52 (82.7 percent) from the line as a senior starter on legendary coach Rod Holmes’ 1994-95 Jefferson team that was Northeastern Conference co-champion and the Division II district runner-up. Jeff Richmond played for the boys team at Jefferson for Tim Mizer.

“I’m sure she’ll claim (that he takes after her),” Jeff Richmond joked. “He gets his athletic talent from both of us parents.”

There’s been a valuable lesson for Ayden Richmond in his preparation for the competitions.

“We’ve told him it’s just like life,” Jeff Richmond said. “If there’s anything you want in life, you have work hard to get it — to be successful, you have to work hard. Nothing’s given to you.”

All Ayden really knows, though, is that shooting 200 shots with his parents is a good time.

“I enjoy (practicing),” Ayden Richmond said. “We’re just up here shooting around, just having fun.”

Ettinger is a freelance from Ashtabula.

Text Only
  • BB1 Walk on the wild side

    Going into the bottom of the third inning Tuesday, things were looking pretty good for the Madison Blue Streaks at Edgewood.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rick Peck A Rich Kelly column: Rick Peck... his legacy born at CLA

    We all leave a legacy of our persona as we pass from this world to whatever the future holds for us.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • BB2 Scholastic Statistics:

    Edgewood 14, Madison 3
    at Higgins Field, Edgewood

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Area High School Softball Statistical Leaders:

    INDIVIDUAL BATTING (minimum 15 at-bats)
    PLAYER    SCHOOL    AVG    OB%    SLG%    AB    R    H    2B    3B    HR    RBI    SB
    Brittany Baitt    Riverside    .645    .667    .806    31    11    20    3    1    0    8    0
    Cassidy DiFranco    Riverside    .588    .632    .647    17    7    10    1    0    0    0    0
    Alyssa Chadwick    Conneaut    .563    .630    .625    32    12    18    2    1    0    6    5
    Alyssa Irons    Jefferson    .526    .526    .632    19    5    10    0    1    0    9    2

    April 23, 2014

  • Scholastic Schedule:


    Niles McKinley at Lakeside (4:30)
    Bloomfield at Conneaut (4:30)
    Maplewood at Grand Valley (4:30)
    Riverside at Edgewood (4:30)
    PV at Mathews (4:30)
    Orange at Perry (4:30)

    April 23, 2014

  • Tribe Royals crown Wahoos to split first two games

    The concerns about Indians starter Danny Salazar continue to grow.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Edgewood SB Warriors whack Struthers

    Edgewood softball coach Steve Cunha’s main focus for the season centers on his team playing well in the All-American conference. In their inaugural season as part of the AAC, the Warriors continued their strong start by defeating visiting Struthers, 8-2, on Monday afternoon.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Falcons go the extra Niles

    Jefferson coach Scott Barber knows good things usually happen when you put the ball in play and put pressure on the opposing team’s defense.

    April 22, 2014

  • Emotional rescue

    Three Ashtabula area runners joined 36,000 of their closest friends Monday during the 118th rendition of the Boston Marathon.

    April 22, 2014

  • Spartans stymied

    Ursuline pitcher Makayla Shore freely admitted she didn’t quite have her best stuff against Conneaut on Monday at Skippon Park. Despite that fact, the hurler tossed a no-hitter to beat the Spartans, 10-0.

    April 22, 2014

Sports Week in Review April 14 to 19
Sports Week in Review April 7-12
Spring Sports Practice in Ashtabula County
2014 AP BB Tourney Top 25
2014 AP BB Tourney Scoreboard
2014 AP BB Tourney News
2014 AP BB Tourney Photos
Star Beacon-Ed Batanian Senior Classic
Girls Regional Basketball Action
Week of Champions
Sports Week in Review February 21, 22
Grand Valley at Edgewood Boys Basketball
Sports Week in Review Feb. 3 to 8
Sports Week in Review January 30 to Feb. 1
Sports Week in Review January 13-18
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video