When Kathryn Riley graduated King Philip in 2012, she envisioned a career in the sports world. The lacrosse standout, a member of KP’s last league champion, Riley played college lacrosse at Boston College, then a program on the rise, and planned on continuing into the family business of college coaching.
A decade later, Riley has found a career in sports, though it is one that she could never have pictured when she decided to step away from her lacrosse career after two seasons at Chestnut Hill. What started as a hobby, working for the BC yearbook office, got boosted by an internship with the Boston Red Sox and has now become an accomplished career as a photographer covering some of the biggest sporting leagues and events in the country.
From Fenway Park to Gillette Stadium, from NASCAR to MLS, from USA Today to Getty Images, Riley is taking her own experiences as an athlete and bringing sports stories to life through her lens.
“Anyone who pays me, I’ll be there,” Riley joked when listing the numerous clients she has worked for, which includes MLB, MLS, the NFL, Boston College Athletics, NASCAR, the USTA, the USGA, and more. “I’ve been really lucky to get some awesome clients that allowed me to do what I do for a living. I’m very thankful for them.”
Her career began after stepping away from lacrosse after her sophomore year. Admittedly “disillusioned” with college athletics, Riley took up an offer from a friend to join the yearbook. She got credentialed to cover BC football when it upset highly ranked USC at Alumni Stadium and was on the ground among the fans who stormed the field. Suddenly, the decision to be part of the yearbook staff, which Riley admits is “bottom of the barrel” in terms of photo cred at BC, looked brilliant.
“I was no longer playing a sport and I had some free time all of a sudden and I was like, I need to join a club or do something,” she explained. “I had really no idea of what I wanted to do.
“The students rushed the field and I was like this is the greatest thing ever. I kind of thought shooting sports is like this all the time, which it is not, but I really liked it and it became a fun hobby. I didn’t think anything would come of it.”
She picked up a photo minor, which was more focused on art than journalism, and after graduating went into PR. It only took six months of sitting at a desk for Riley to realize that wasn’t the right career for her. Riley said, “I came home one time and was like, is this what life is going to be like for the next 50 years? I just work every day and get two weeks off a year. I can’t do that.”
On a whim, Riley applied for a photo internship with the Red Sox. Although she had no idea what to expect, Riley got the chance to be at Fenway Park almost every night (splitting games with another intern) and learned the ins and outs of the professional sports photography business. In addition to enjoying the work, “It was so much fun every single day just to go into the ballpark,” and getting great shots of the historic stadium, the players, and the fans, Riley also forced herself to network. She met photographers from the major local papers, from AP, from Getty, and started to see that the hobby she picked up at BC could become a lifelong career.
“When I got this internship, I thought I’m going to hold on for dear life and find a way to make it stick,” Riley reflected. “That really opened a lot of doors for me and I saw that I can have a career doing what I now do. Very happy that I saw some random Twitter post about this job.”
Riley used that internship to become a member of an expansive Boston photography community, filled with young and up-and-coming photographers and older, more experienced veterans. It is a competitive field for sure, but also features plenty of people willing to give advice, share ideas, and commiserate about similar struggles.
“If it wasn’t for that [internship], I wouldn’t have met any of the contacts I met, wouldn’t have gotten the jobs I got after,” Riley said. “I didn’t know anybody but I got lucky with an internship and then I networked.”
Her career began with baseball, but Riley is happy to get away from the grind that is shooting baseball every day over the course of a long season (taking the occasional line drive to ribs is also an occupational hazard). Regardless of the sport, Riley is always searching out the moments in games that go beyond just the action on the field.
All photographers want to get the diving catch, the winning goal, or the crucial touchdown, but sometimes the best shots are what happens after. It is about getting the emotions of the game, both positive and negative, and finding images that fans might miss from the stands or the television broadcast and that give a fuller picture of the experience.
“Everyone who is working these games, I don’t care what level it is, they all want that same shot,” Riley said. “But my favorite moments, if I’m able to get them, are those in between moments. Whether it’s a celebration or dejection, it’s those small moments that just kind of help fill in the blanks of how the game went.
“If I was covering a game for Getty for the NFL, they would be like, if the game gets out of hand or if it’s a big upset or something, make sure you’re getting these moments of elation from players on the sideline or try to find the dejected quarterback hanging his head or coach crossing his arms because that just adds so much more than a picture of him fumbling. It just adds more context and makes it richer. That to me is always super important and almost as important as some epic sack or touchdown catch.”
Photography has kept Riley involved in athletics and shooting some of the biggest events, like Tom Brady’s return to Gillette, brings with it a rush, but it is still work. It is a lot of long days and nights, shooting and editing, carrying equipment, and trying to get into the best positions for a shot, sometimes with dozens of other photographers jostling for the same spot.
“I find a lot of similarities between shooting a sporting event and playing a sport,” Riley said. “You still get those adrenaline rushes when you get an epic shot or you’re in the right place at the right time, it’s exciting, it’s fun, it’s a little bit competitive. What can I do to make myself stand out?”
She continued, “Those bigger moments, I feel like people just rise to the occasion. I’m very lucky. I love my job, it’s a cool job, it’s fun, but at the end of the day it’s still a job and there are still days where it’s stressful, I’m exhausted, my body hurts from lugging around all the gear. It’s nice to have something exciting.”
Whether it’s a big game or just one of 162, Riley will be there looking for the unique shot, the story that only a great photo can tell.
See more of Kathryn Riley’s work at https://www.khriley.com/.
NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Even down by eight points and with a zero on the score board midway through the third quarter, Foxboro had confidence that its offense could figure things out. The top scoring team in the league, averaging more than 42 points per game heading into Friday night’s visit to Community Field, it felt like only a matter of time until the Warriors hit a big play.
It turned out that the confidence was far from misplaced. Foxboro scored on three straight possessions, needing only four plays combined, to flip the game around and beat North Attleboro 21-14, putting the Warriors in the driver’s seat to win its first league title since 2015 and first outright league title since 2010.
“They weren’t down,” Foxboro coach Jack Martinelli. “They weren’t doubting themselves. We just kind of had the will to hang in there and rely on the kids who’ve done it all year.”
He added, “Those kids (North) played their hearts out too. It was kind of a game that nobody should’ve lost and nobody should’ve won, but I’m sure glad we did.”
Leading 2-0 coming out of halftime, North tried to put together one of its patented long scoring drives to take control, but things stalled around midfield and the Rocketeers were forced to punt. On Foxboro’s first play of the third quarter, Dylan Gordon coughed up the ball trying to extend a play and Kaiden Leary recovered for North at the Warriors 25.
Two plays later, freshman Chase Frisoli (7-of-17, 71 yards) hit Gavin Wellss, who started on the opposite side of the field and worked his way across the entire secondary, at the front pylon for a 24-yard score. The extra point was no good.
On the first play of Foxboro’s next possession, Gordon (17 carries, 142 yards) finally broke free, bursting through the line for 30 yards into North territory. The next play finished in the end zone. Tom Marcucella, who only completed three passes on the night, fired the ball out to Rashaad Way (three receptions, 146 yards) on a receiver screen. Way somehow tiptoed down the sideline for a 40-yard touchdown. The same duo combined on a two-point conversion to tie it.
North’s momentum may have been stalled, but the Rocketeers followed that with their best drive of the night. The hosts went 72 yards on 11 plays to regain the advantage. It was all done on the ground, as Tyler Bannon (17 carries, 97 yards) and Tyler DeMattio (21 carries, 109 yards) pounded out six first downs. DeMattio capped the drive with a one-yard plunge, taking a hit that sent his helmet flying in the process.
There was a long injury break before North lined up for the conversion and Bannon was stuffed at the one to keep the score 14-8.
Foxboro took over at its own 28. Just 13 seconds later, the Warriors had their first lead. Gordon flashed through the middle of the line untouched and sailed past the North secondary for a 72-yard touchdown run. Sam Carpenter’s kick put Foxboro ahead.
After forcing a three-and-out, the visitors took over at their own 42. A holding call backed them up an additional 10 yards, but that just added extra yards for Way to burn through. Another screen pass from Marcucella got Way into space and he did the rest, blowing past the secondary for 68 yards.
“That was our fear going in, they have that big-play capability,” North coach Don Johnson said. “Every single play Rashaad can score on the edge and Gordon inside. We didn’t give them any big plays in the first half and they hit them in the second half.”
North’s next drive reached Foxboro territory, but Bannon was dropped for a loss of one on second and six from the 40. Frisoli was then brought down on a keeper for no gain by Ryan Addeche and Steve Bridges. On fourth and seven, Frisoli went deep but Way made an acrobatic interception. North would get one more chance starting at its own 42, but this time it was Dylan Kerrigan stepping in to make the pick and seal the win.
It was appropriate that the defense got to make the final play for the Warriors because it was the defense that kept Foxboro in the game in the first half. North was getting pressure in the backfield from the opening kick, with DeMattio flying through for a sack to end Foxboro’s first drive and Bannon getting one on the second. Bannon turned the game around with a booming 50-yard punt that pinned Foxboro inside its own 10 to start the second quarter. Three plays later, Bannon got through on the punt block, knocking the ball out the back of the end zone for a safety.
“We hung around,” Martinelli said. “We bent defensively, but it didn’t hurt us on the scoreboard. It could’ve been a lot worse at halftime, not only on the scoreboard but emotionally and that didn’t happen.”
The Rocketeers had chances to break the game open, starting each of the next three possessions in Foxboro territory. Andrew Finn’s sack and a holding call stymied the first drive. Good pressure from Addeche helped slow down another drive in the red zone, which ended on an incomplete pass on fourth down. A good tackle by Gordon and more penalties helped keep the third drive from ending in points.
“We shot ourselves in the foot too often,” Johnson explained. “We had more holding calls in the first half then we’ve had all season. That was a big difference maker. We should’ve had more points and had a little lead to work with.”
He added, “We gave them too many opportunities.”
Foxboro nearly grabbed the lead heading into the locker room. Marcucella nearly was intercepted by Garrett Ingelese on first down but Gordon followed with a nice run and Way caught his first pass of the night and broke it 38 yards to set up a short Carpenter kick. The Rocketeers were able to get a tip on it and it stayed 2-0 at the break.
“At halftime, we just said it’s 2-0,” Martinelli said. “It’s a long game, especially with the 12-minute periods. The big play kids made the big plays. Gordon, Marcucella to Rashaad, then Kerrigan on defense all with big plays.”
Foxboro (5-1, 2-0) will travel to Canton next week looking to secure at least a share of the league title. North Attleboro (2-3, 1-1) will try to keep the pressure on Foxboro and keep alive hopes for a split with a trip to Oliver Ames.
SOUTH EASTON, Mass. – Sometimes it takes just one moment to separate two good teams. On Wednesday night at Muscato Stadium, the moment came right before halftime when Oliver Ames senior Camryn O’Connor burst out of midfield and crossed to junior Jenna Gilman at the back post. Making her first start of the season up top, Gilman made no mistake from a few yards out to put the Tigers back in front.
OA was able to hold onto its halftime lead, beating Mansfield 2-1 in a game that had the proper intensity for two teams fighting for first place in their respective divisions, battling for higher rankings in the state tournament, and getting prepared for making deep playoff runs next month.
“I preach all the time that a great game is 2-1,” said OA coach Britt Sellmayer. “Someone is going to make a mistake, someone is going to hit a brilliant goal, and you need two [goals] to win. That’s two games in a row that this team has shown some growth since the Foxboro game where we had a 1-0 lead with 10 minutes to go and it kind of slipped away.
“It’s one of our best games of the year, so I’m pleased because Mansfield’s always tough to break down.”
The first half was largely dominated by the hosts. OA’s pressure on the ball was forcing turnovers high up the pitch and forcing Mansfield to resort to long balls over the top. There was very little time to take a touch and the Hornets struggled early.
Just six minutes into the game, OA had its first chance on a set piece. An in-swinging corner was only partially cleared and Ella McDonough got a foot to it. The shot was blocked onto the post and then a goal-bound rebound effort was blocked by Carly Devine.
In the 12th minute, another set piece would provide the opener. Mansfield keeper Olivia Salisbury did really well to prevent Katie Gibson’s corner from heading straight in, clawing the ball out from under the bar. Alexa Lane was there to knock the rebound back at goal but it was blocked out to Mary Cross. Third time was the charm, as the senior defender poked it home.
Lyla Nappa would have Mansfield’s first shot on goal in the 18th minute and it was comfortably saved by Emily Meyers. At the half-hour mark, the Hornets equalized out of nothing. Abby Jean and Tarynn Smith played a nice one-two about 35 yards from goal. Smith looked up and, for once, had no pressure on her so decided to have a go. The shot slid just under the bar and over the fingers of Meyers to make it 1-1.
“She’s starting to and we need it,” Mansfield coach Kevin Smith said of Tarynn Smith finding the back of the net more often in recent games. “We’re built on a team offense. We don’t have the Steph Kemp or the Cam O’Connor or the Kailee McCabe, so we have to get contributions from everybody.”
The remainder of the half was largely controlled by O’Connor. The Boston University-commit was proving difficult to contain, even as the Hornets threw multiple defenders on her. After sending one just wide from 25 yards, O’Connor dribbled past a pair of defenders into the box taking advantage of a Gabby Smith clearance ricocheting off Kara Santos for another chance that went just wide.
In the 39th minute, Lucinda Li Cotter teed up O’Connor from 20 yards that forced Salisbury into a full stretch save, tipping it around the post.
With the clock stopped at the end of the half, O’Connor had her moment. She rode a challenge near midfield and then carried the ball a full 40 yards down the left channel, got to the end line, and sent over a pinpoint, left-footed cross to Gilman ghosting in unmarked at the back post.
“Cam had the big play that we need every game from her,” said Sellmayer. “She is one of those rare players that has pace on the ball. Sometimes there will be a tackle and it ends up on your foot, ends up on my foot, well it usually ends up on her foot a little more often.”
The second half would feature very few chances for either team, but the Hornets made significant improvements in how they played out of the pressure. Smith admitted that it had little to do with his team talk at the break.
He explained, “Got to halftime and said what do you guys think? They were like, coach we were playing scared a little bit. They actually self-reflected and they figured out how to break it down. It’s what I love about these kids, they really think about the game and we’re growing.”
OA had a chance of yet another corner early in the second half but McDonough didn’t catch it cleanly and Santos was in the way to block and clear. In the 64th minute, Katie Gibson had a deflected cross find her at the back post but she couldn’t make clean contact and hit it right at Salisbury. A minute later, Carly Gibson set up O’Connor on her right foot but it was a tame effort that Salisbury snagged.
Those were the only chances for the Tigers after the break, but they were also limiting Mansfield, who was playing better and getting into advanced areas down the wings but still not troubling Meyers. The foursome of McDonough (making her first start), Cross, Allison Evin, and Sophia Byron largely held the Hornets at arm’s length.
“We really didn’t give them many chances inside the 18 and that’s something they’ve worked on,” said Sellmayer. “I thought Kyla [Melton] playing in the midfield gave us another edge on those headers that we didn’t have in the Foxboro game.”
Still, in a one-goal game, all it takes is a single chance to turn two points into one. Mansfield finally got that look in the 70th minute. Santos won the ball at the back and hit a quick outlet to Anna Darlington down the right wing leading to a corner. Smith curled one into the six-yard box and Devine was there but unable to keep her header down.
OA was able to run out the final nine minutes to secure the win and stay level with Foxboro in the Davenport title race
“I keep saying we’re young and learning and we are,” said Smith. “It’s been our mantra all year and it’s a great opportunity to learn about those little things and how to play against a team that’s, in the power rankings, No. 4 four in the state. It was good for us, I’m proud of my girls.”
During his senior season, Devin Foster sat down with head coach Ryan Gordy to discuss his collegiate options. Canton’s all-time leading scorer (1,306 points), the 2019 Hockomock League MVP and HockomockSports.com Player of the Year, and the 2019 Red Auerbach Massachusetts “Mr. Basketball”, Foster had plenty of local options, but he wanted to play at the highest level.
“He said I think I can play at the highest level coach and I’m going to bet on myself and I’m going to go for it,” Gordy recalled. “You never want to hold a kid back from his dream.”
Rather than staying close to home, even if it meant passing up instant playing time or being the star of a team, Foster chose Clemson. He chose the ACC. After two years as a team manager, Foster’s bet on himself has paid off. Last month, he became an official member of the Tigers, wearing the orange No. 14.
“I was kind of hoping for it,” Foster said, “But, you know, coming out of high school, I was from a public school and I kind of wanted to stay home and play it safe [in high school], so I knew for college I wanted to do something a little different. I knew I was going to be willing to be around basketball in whatever capacity that was.”
He continued, “I’m more excited than anything. Last year was just a lot of hours behind the scenes, doing the little things, and now I get to be in the spotlight a little bit more. I’m just looking forward to it.”
Some BIG news for Canton coming out of South Carolina. Former @CHSDogsBball standout Devin Foster is an official member of the Clemson Men’s Basketball Team. Foster lead the Dogs to back to back league titles, scored 1306 points, won league MVP & @mbcaorg State Player of the Year pic.twitter.com/K1blTl7Px0
— Ryan Gordy (@CoachGordy) August 30, 2021
When Clemson opens the season with an exhibition against Georgia Southwestern State on Nov. 1, it will be Foster’s first chance to run out in front of a packed crowd at Littlejohn Coliseum as a player.
“It will definitely be surreal,” Foster said with a chuckle. “I feel like I’ve got a long way up until that point, I mean we just started full practice. I know how long it’s going to take to get there, so I’m just taking it day-by-day at this point.”
Gordy used the same word to describe his former player on an ACC roster. “When you talk about ACC, it’s pretty surreal,” he said. “That’s as big as it gets.
“I think what I’m proud of is the path that he took to get there. When got there, he put the work in and did everything the right way and won over the coaching staff. To be awarded a spot on that roster is a testament to who he is, the sort of personality that he has, the hard work, and what a great representation for our community in Canton.”
Unlike former King Philip star Jake Layman, who went to Maryland and is now playing in the NBA for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Foster wasn’t a national recruit with a high profile in the ACC. He came to Clemson knowing that he would have to walk-on or be a team manager to be part of the program.
Although his first-semester schedule didn’t allow him to take part in the basketball program, when he returned in January for the second semester he was able to join as a manager. The pandemic made that a short experience, as the campus closed just two months later, but it was a taste of what Foster had missed without basketball in his life.
“I just missed basketball, missed being around the sport and obviously they have a great group of guys,” he said. “I was still working out on my own, maybe not basketball-wise but lifting, just trying to stay in shape, it was just what I was used to, I kind of didn’t know anything else. But once the opportunity opened up to be a part of the program, I kind of hopped right on it and ran with it.”
Last year, Foster was a full-time manager. He got to practice a little, running drills at first before moving up to the scout team, running the opponent’s sets. It started with defense, which allowed Foster to get his feet under him and acclimate himself to the coaches’ expectations.
“When I did get the chance to bring the ball up or give them a look on offense, it made it a little easier because I’d been on the court before,” Foster explained. “I felt like I’d shown them what I could do a little bit.”
Being a team manager isn’t a direct route to being a full member of the team. Foster said that wasn’t his goal when he signed on to help the program. He wanted the structure, the friendships that he developed with his new teammates, and gave him that niche that every new college student is looking for. His transition from manager to player will be helped by the relationships he has already built with his teammates.
“When I first joined, they were really welcoming,” he said. They’re a great group of guys. Now that I’m on the team, they’re really excited for me, just giving me support and encouragement. They embraced me for sure.”
There has also been plenty of support from his hometown. Former coaches, teachers, and staff have shared their excitement at the news on social media and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“I love the town of Canton,” Foster said. “They’ve always been in my corner supporting me. It’s humbling though because I know the amount of work I put into basketball, the time I’ve spent in the gym. I’m definitely honored and extremely grateful for all the support they’ve given me and the encouragement even when I was a manager.”
Gordy noted, “He embodied what Canton wants to be and he was sort of a poster child for everything that we believe in – having a high character, setting your standards high, overcoming adversity, and being a great teammate. He really is a champion of excellence but not just on the court but in the way that he carries himself.” Gordy also knew exactly when Clemson would be paying a visit to Conte Forum to face Boston College (Feb. 26) and said there should be a cheering section of Foster’s former coaches in attendance.
That game is still a long way away and Foster will have plenty of new experiences over the coming months. There will be running out in front of the home crowd as a player for the first time or the first road trip to experience warming up in front of rabid ACC crowds. Maybe there could even be his first appearance as a Tiger.
“I’m really excited for what’s coming in the next few months,” he said, although he wouldn’t be pulled into discussions of playing time. “I just kind of go out there and give the scholarship guys the best look I can. I realize it’s not about me, it’s about the other guys. I’m not really thinking of myself when I’m out there, I’m thinking about getting those guys better.”
When he left Canton, Foster wanted the chance to prove himself at the top level. He is there now, although he admits it is hard to put it into perspective right now.
“I didn’t know if my career would continue but luckily I got an opportunity and I’m very grateful,” Foster said. “Right now, in the moment, I can’t see the bigger picture yet because I’m in it but it’s definitely surreal and it’s really exciting for me.”