Next Level Seniors: Jeffrey Richter Brings Confidence to Augsburg University


Lukas Werner

Senior Jeffrey Richter will be playing soccer at the next level for Augsburg University.

Elsie Buczkowski, Editor

Senior Jeffrey Richter’s soccer journey started when he was just 4 years old, when his parents put him in a recreational league. As his skills developed, Richter and his family recognized that he was not challenged enough at the recreational level, “just messing around and having fun,” so they made the decision to move him to a more competitive league.

Over the course of his career, soccer has helped Richter form close friendships and find his confidence.

“As a person, I’ve definitely learned to open up a bit more,” he said. “Freshman [and] sophomore year, I was really quiet. I didn’t really talk to too many people. And I feel like the longer I’ve been at La Salle and the longer I’ve played sports has helped me open up and kind of talk more.”

Playing soccer for so long has also helped Richter make more assured decisions and be more “confident on the ball,” he said. 

Ever since making the decision to compete at a higher level eight years ago, he has played for Portland City United Soccer Club. His team trains twice a week and plays games on the weekends. Playing club soccer has led Richter all over the country for games. He has been to Washington, California, Hawaii, and North Carolina for tournaments.

Richter’s favorite thing about soccer is building friendships. “I’ve had a lot of friends that have stayed on the same team as me throughout the eight years,” he said. “My closest friends have come from club soccer.”

Even though Richter’s dad has not played soccer, Richter still sees him as a role model. “he’s always so positive with himself,” he said. 

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  • Senior Jeffrey Richter has been playing soccer since he was 4 years old.

  • “I really enjoyed the team that was around me,” senior Jeffrey Richter said. “It just felt nice to end my senior year off of winning state championship.”

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Playing soccer on La Salle’s team helped Richter build relationships within the La Salle community. Soccer gave Richter the opportunity to “connect with freshmen and sophomores and kind of get to know the younger people and kind of help them through high school,” he said.

After playing soccer almost his “entire life,” Richter is moving on to the collegiate level at Augsburg University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. However, his interest in playing at the next level started during the pandemic, when he was not able to play often. 

“Not being able to play soccer kind of made me realize how much I really loved playing it, and I wanted it still in my life,” he said.

In the early stages of the pandemic, Richter did not have many opportunities to practice soccer. “For me, I tried to get out, but our teams weren’t hosting anything,” he said. “It was mainly me going out alone, which is a little bit hard to practice and not as fun.”

Richter said that the recruitment process was a “cool experience.” At the beginning of the process, Richter said that communications with coaches were mostly through emails, texts, and phone calls. But when COVID-19 restrictions began to be lifted, Richter was able to visit college campuses. 

Richter became more certain in his decision to attend Augsburg University after being able to meet the current soccer team. “They seemed like a great group of guys,” he said. 

Richter also liked how Augsburg was a small school in a big city. Located in Minneapolis, “it’s also really close to [the] University of Minnesota,” he said. As Augsburg is a smaller school, Richter said that the two schools have a partnership, “so I kind of get the small school feel while also getting a big city and bigger school advantages with labs and things like that,” he said. Additionally aiding his decision, Richter has family that lives near Minneapolis.

Looking back on his soccer career, Richter said that his greatest accomplishment was winning the state championship his senior season. “I really enjoyed the team that was around me,” he said. “It just felt nice to end my senior year off of winning state championship.”

Since he is moving far from home for college, Richter said he is looking forward to becoming his “own independent person.” In the final months of his senior year, Richter is prioritizing spending time with friends and family and “just having fun,” he said. 

Richter said that his biggest takeaway from high school is “confidence.” He has found that “the more confidence you have, you just kind of learn it’s okay to be yourself and, who cares what other people think?”

In addition to leaving La Salle with a new perspective on the importance of confidence, Richter will also leave a legacy behind at La Salle. Known among his friends for being able to do the griddy — a dance trend recently popularized on TikTok — Richter would like to thank freshman Vance Sheffield for teaching him how to do the dance.