Aynor golfer Bailey Richardson will follow in her father’s footsteps and attend The Citadel.
The 18-year-old inked with the Bulldogs during a signing ceremony this past week at AHS.
“I’m really excited because one of the biggest reasons I started playing golf was to get a scholarship, but I never really thought it would happen,” she said. “I guess I was lucky because my dream school wanted me as much as I wanted them. I applied to some other schools but it was always The Citadel. I didn’t really look at anyone else.”
The teen is a daughter of Joey and Lisa Richardson, and her dad competed in football, golf and basketball at AHS before playing one year of football with the Bulldogs. He graduated in 1995.
“When I was there it was all boys,” Richardson said. “I have two girls and I have said I wouldn’t want my girls to go there. It’s a place you have to want to do yourself.”
Bailey Richardson grew up playing t-ball and was a cheerleader in middle school. Although she often tagged along when her dad and grandfather were on the golf course, she didn’t become serious about the sport until her freshman year of high school when Aynor fielded its first golf teams for girls only.
“My dad and grandpa said it was a sport I could play with them,” she said.
The teen began thinking seriously about The Citadel after going to a football game at the Charleston school when she was a junior.
“I fell in love with the atmosphere,” she said. “I’m always up for a challenge. I can’t see myself anywhere else. I clicked with the team and the coach and didn’t want to go anywhere else.”
The teen became an extremely serious golfer this past summer, admitting that she made a lot of sacrifices to get better. She said the key is lots of practice. Richardson plays year round, hitting the links for at least four hours on a daily basis.
“I had to sacrifice a lot, but it was worth it,” she said.
Richardson said her father didn’t share a lot of his Citadel stories with her until he realized how serious she was about attending the school.
“Following in his footsteps means a lot to me,” she said.
Aynor golf coach Patrick Wilkinson believes The Citadel is a good fit for Richardson.
“She will do well there,” he said. “She’ll be competitive with the girls on the team. She’s going to a place where she can play right off the bat. She could go somewhere else and have to fight for a spot, but she can play there from the day she enrolls.”
Wilkinson said Richardson was Aynor’s top player this past spring.
“She’s been a pleasure to have,” he said.
Richardson said her biggest asset on the course is an ability to analyze.
“I analyze everything,” she said. “It’s kinda like a blessing and a curse and I can over think things. As I’m walking up, I’m like I need to take this angle to the pin. I want to hit it here.”
Richardson is a very active student at AHS, where she is a member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, Art Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta. She was recently selected Aynor’s Most Outstanding Senior. The teen also serves as president of the student body.
When she’s not in school or playing golf, Richardson enjoys hanging out with her friends and family. She plans to major in biology at The Citadel, and hopes to come a cardiologist.