Regina’s Ashley Richter A Remarkable Two-Sport Star in LFL Canada, LFL360.com, Mark Staffieri
LFL360.com, Mark Staffieri
As one of the most charismatic members of the Regina Rage, Ashley Richter brings a remarkable athletic background. A former women’s ice hockey player, Richter competed with the Vermont Catamounts of the NCAA. Her experience in hockey and the importance of teamwork has helped her adjust to the LFL.
“I have an aggressive spirit and am competitive by nature. The mentality required to play a team sport such as hockey, mixed with the physicality of the game definitely had a positive impact on my transition into the LFL. Not only do you need to perform to the best of your ability as an individual player, you also have to count on those grinding on the field with you to succeed in the pursuit of that common goal.”
Ironically, one of her teammates on the Regina Rage, running back Kylie Rossler, also played NCAA hockey. Rossler competed with the Robert Morris Colonials and the Mercyhurst Lakers. The two were like kindred spirits during the inaugural season in Regina. “Kylie and I are deeply rooted in our athletic careers, going back quite a few years and sharing the growing pains of making our way to American colleges. The NCAA sisterhood naturally contributed to our connection on and off the field, both sharing that competitive temperament and experience in knowing what it takes to perform at an elite level… without a doubt a requirement in the LFL.”
During the LFL Canada offseason, Richter is still involved in the game of hockey. Currently, she is involved with hockey refereeing. Among her refereeing assignments, she earned the opportunity to officiate at the Canadian U-18 Women’s National Championships. “Refereeing was a way for me to stay on the ice and make my involvement in the game multifaceted. I tend to bring myself to see the other side of things. Becoming an official gave me the perfect outlet to gain a new perspective and get that sports-specific training in, both mentally and physically! It just so happened I was able to add this to my long list of competitive endeavors and officiate at the national women’s and junior men’s levels.”
As part of a remarkable season with the Rage, the charismatic Richter was one of the nominees for the 2012 LFL Canada Mortaza Award. Although Richter was not the eventual winner of the award, the recognition was highly cherished. “Any notoriety an athlete receives in a sport they love is added fuel to the fire. I was of course honored to have been nominated as an individual, but equally as appreciative to have shared the nomination light with other teammates. [It’s] a testament to what the Regina Rage accomplished collectively in our first season.”
Despite a 2-2 season, Richter is confident that greater things are ahead for the Rage. As the only team that defeated the Saskatoon Sirens in the regular season, Richter and her Rage teammates nearly qualified for the championship game. In order for Regina to win the league championship next year, Richter believes, “it will take that relentless “rage” [they] had in the face of adversity.”
She went on to say, “The feeling of coming within reach but falling short is still burning in our minds. This persistent passion mixed with post-season pursuits will determine what the championship will look like next year and undoubtedly bring it to a whole new level. The league has one hell of a group of powerful, determined women on their hands.”
While that final game of the regular season resulted in a visceral loss to Saskatoon, Richter sees it as motivation. Having had the opportunity to absorb the loss and deal with the disappointment, Richter reflects on it as a turning point; one in which the team truly grew and became a cohesive unit. The effort and sacrifice required by Richter and her teammates culminated in a learning experience in which the team learned that getting to the next level is possible.
“As much as I could go on and on about the moments in the spotlight, the rushes, the blocks, the tackles and return on special teams, these all only added up to my ultimate moment. Although more sour than sweet at the time, that moment in the locker room, coming off the field from the game that kept us from the championship, was without a doubt the highlight of my season. Looking around at what we had become, what it took, and what we had all gone through to get to that very moment sent chills right through me. Incredible feeling.”