Picayune’s Richard will be missed

Published 2:40 pm Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Football fans will get to see Picayune’s standout tailback Albert Richard one last time as a prep player.

Unfortunately for Richard and the Maroon Tide, he won’t be carrying the pigskin for Picayune in that game.

Richard’s career with the Maroon Tide wrapped up last week, when Picayune fell to top-ranked Moss Point 17-10 in overtime in the Class 4A South State semifinals.

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Richard finished his senior season with right at 1,700 yards rushing and scored 19 touchdowns in a season where he was constantly bothered by an achilles heel injury.

That came on the heels of a junior campaign in which he rushed for over 2,200 yards and scored 33 touchdowns giving the diminutive dynamo almost 4,000 yards rushing and over 50 touchdowns in two seasons.

“Like a lot of our seniors, he will be sorely missed,” Picayune head coach Dodd Lee said. “Albert accomplished quite a bit for us. It was a pleasure to coach him and watch him run the ball.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by Richard’s offensive line as well, a group he was always quick to credit for his success.

“Blocking for Albert was something special, because he was always making plays,” center Ben Luther, a two year starter up front, said. “All he had to do was just get a little bit of a hole and he was gone. It was fun blocking for him.”

Guard Huey Stockstill agreed.

“He has great vision and he makes great cuts,” Stockstill added. “It was great to block for him because we knew if he was successful then we would be also. He did his job and we did ours.”

Some of the Maroon Tide runners before Richard may have achieved a bit better numbers than Richard, like Justin Magee a few years ago. But Richard was the firt Picayune runner to help his team register consecutive seasons with double digits wins and with back-to-back 10 game winning streaks as the Maroon Tide went 11-1 last year and 10-2 this season.

He was selected to the Magnolia State team for the prestigious Alabama/Mississippi All-Star Football Classic in Mobile next month and could be the first Tide running back to play in the game.