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CBD Journal with Tommy Richards (Washington State)

The final Stater code is, “Once a Coug, always a Coug.” And it is the code that the fellow seniors and myself are going to have to live by from now on. Like we knew it would, the day came when the seven of us would have to hand in our jerseys and put a wrap on our college careers, which is still a tough pill to swallow.

My high school football coach told me my freshmen year, when I was debating whether or not I wanted to play football, that the road looking forward is a lot longer than the road looking back. There are no truer words ringing in my mind than words that I received eight years ago standing outside of the Bend High weight room.

As a team we went through it all, from the highest of hi’s to the lowest of lows. Naturally when things are going good, people love where they are at, and all of their sacrifices seem to make sense. But when things are bad, the long road looking forward looks even longer and creates doubt about whether all of those sacrifices will one day be worth it.

Four years ago we were all in that spot, as we were trying to figure out how we would survive through our freshmen fall. Baseball practices alone caused enough stress to paralyze our bodily functions for the day, and that was only on top of being away from home, and in college classes for the first time.

I don’t think a single one of us would trade those days for anything. Those days are what built the foundation of the great relationship that we all now have.

My current teammates don’t even speak my same language (which is nobody’s fault), and feelings that parallel those of my freshmen fall are creeping in. But from where I have been, and what I have learned from Washington State, about the road looking forward, I know that all of the work and training that I put will be worth it. And the road looking back will be filled with great memories like the ones I had with the Cougs.

Thanks to all of my teammates and coaches for all of the hard work they have put forth over the years. It means the world to be able to call myself a Coug!

See you in Pullman, hopefully sooner than later.

Tommy Richards

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