Latchford exemplifes winning culture


Image courtesy of Wesley Works.

Lauren Riazzi, Sports Editor

This previously ran in our December 2022 print issue.

Looking back on his time at Emmaus High School, senior Ryan Latchford is grateful for the time he spent on the field, developing his skills and building memories alongside teammates he now considers family.

A participant in both the Emmaus soccer and baseball programs, Latchford takes pride in the effort he has contributed to his improvement over the years. He credits much of his development to the time he dedicated and also recognizes that his coaches played a strong role as well. 

“Coach Cari and Coach Grim have really elevated my game,” Latchford said. “And without [them] I’m not sure I’d be where I’m at right now.”

 The boys soccer team took home their third District XI championship in a row last year against Parkland, winning 3-1, which Latchford identifies as the moment he recognized the results of his effort.

“Coming into the season, I was a bench player, but towards the playoffs I began starting,” Latchford said. “After winning the championship, it just proved all the hard work that I put in and it really set me up for a good senior year as well.”

Latchford also acknowledged participating in athletics at EHS provided a path to participating on championship-winning teams, setting him up for a history of successful seasons. 

“There’s not a lot of kids that have been able to play on such great teams,” Latchford said. “Playing at Emmaus, you’re always competing for championships, and lucky for me, I’ve been a part of many championship teams here at Emmaus.”

Junior Colin Wilson has learned from Latchford on both the soccer and baseball field. He recognizes that Latchford takes his role as a mentor seriously and has spent his time encouraging underclassmen to follow in his footsteps, “He’s always getting us to work better by working his hardest,” Wilson said. 

Most of all, Wilson recognizes that Latchford taught him how to be a better teammate and hopes to exemplify the same characteristics when he takes his place on the team as a senior 

“I learned how to be more of a friend,” Wilson said. “He didn’t just take [the role of captain] as being a leader, but being a friend to all of us and someone we can just joke around with.”

I hope to exemplify just showing people how to be a good person,” Wilson said. “It’s like he’s created such a strong bond with everybody he’s around that it’s more of a family.”

Over the last four years, Latchford and his teammates have strengthened bonds that were started in the early days of elementary school. He holds on to memories from last year’s District XI soccer win, but also recognizes that some of his best memories are rooted in the little moments of what being an athlete is all about. 

“Obviously winning the district championship would be one of my favorite memories,” Latchford said. “But also, the little things are so special. Like the bus rides to an away game are something that I’ll miss. Pregame down in the locker room, blasting music and joking around with all my friends, all my teammates. Little things like that, little memories are what I’ll miss the most.”

Although the boys soccer season ended on a low note with a loss to Parkland in the District XI final, he was awarded a spot EPC third-team this year, and is looking forward to the upcoming spring baseball season.

“[This season] meant everything,” Latchford said. “The group of boys that we had was something so special and the group of nine seniors that we had, we had been playing with each other since we were tiny. We really have a brotherhood between all of us and we just have one big family here at Emmaus. I couldn’t be more thankful for them.”

Latchford looks forward to continuing his athletic career at the collegiate level as he leans towards pursuing soccer as his singular sport, but he has not decided what school his future holds.