Tuesday, 25 January 2022 16:43

Favian Rivera: The Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week

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Senior wrestler Favian Rivera has been named the Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week presented by HWY 55. Senior wrestler Favian Rivera has been named the Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week presented by HWY 55. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ROCKINGHAM — Favian Rivera, a senior wrestler, has been named the Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week presented by HWY 55.


Richmond’s season has been a rollercoaster impacted by COVID-19 protocols and several schedule changes, but the Raiders had their best performance of the season at a tournament hosted by Montgomery Central last week.

New to the team this year but an experienced wrestler, Rivera went 4-1 on the day against five opponents from five different schools, earning him his first career recognition.

Athletic Profile

Age: 17

Birthday: June 25, 2004

Year: Senior

Winter Sport: Wrestling

Weight Class: 152-pounds

Height & Weight: 5-5, 152 pounds

Years on Varsity: 1 year

Experience: 4 years

ON THE MAT WITH FAVIAN RIVERA

The Raiders faced five non-conference teams while at Montgomery Central and collected a 4-1 record in the process. 

Richmond defeated Providence Grove 52-23, Lexington 39-30, West Wilkes 45-28 and closed with a win over Southwestern Randolph 39-27. The only match the Raiders lost was to Trinity High School, a 21-54 decision.

Rivera, who has been the Raiders’ most consistent wrestler in the 152-pound weight class, earned all four of his wins in the same matches the team won. He collected two pinfall victories, as well as one major and one minor decision win.

Rivera’s two pins both came in the opening round of his Lexington and West Wilkes bouts, earning him six points apiece. He pinned Austin Thomas (Lexington) and made quick work against Cameron Blevins (West Wilkes), holding him to the mat with 1:03 left in the first round.

Facing Providence Grove’s Zach King, Rivera added four points to the Raiders’ win with a 19-8 major decision. He battled all three rounds and earned the major decision by defeating King by at least eight points.

In his final victory, Rivera edged Southwestern Randolph’s Nathan Mabe in an 11-7 decision. That victory added another three points to the Raiders’ point total. Rivera’s only loss came against Trinity’s Casey Hohn, a one-point loss (3-4).

On the season, Rivera has an 8-4 overall record, according to Track Wrestling.

Richmond will wrestle in its regular-season finale on Tuesday at home against Pinecrest and Lee County high schools. The individual Sandhills Athletic Conference championship tournament will be held Wednesday at Union Pines High School.

RAPID RESPONSES WITH FAVIAN RIVERA

ROSports: What led to your really successful outing at the Montgomery Central tournament? And how has your season been going so far?

Rivera: “My preparation this season helped me at Montgomery Central. It’s also putting in a lot of hard work, doing extra workouts and making sure I eat right and make weight. 

“I try to take it one match at a time, and don’t look ahead. When I do that, it makes me nervous so the focus is always on the opponent at hand. Our season is going pretty good, and I think we all did really well at the Montgomery Central tournament.”

ROSports: How would you describe your style as a wrestler and what are some of your go-to moves on the mat to ensure a win? 

Rivera: “I’m a counter-striker, which means I wait for my opponent to take a shot and I react off of his moves. Or I will wait for him to make a mistake and try to get points that way. I’d say I’m a patient wrestler who knows when to be aggressive.

“I like to use a simple low single leg as a takedown, and of course I try to pin my opponent. Sometimes I’ll use a half-nelson or work my legs into the match. But I always act like I’m down a couple of points and use that to keep fighting.”

ROSports: The SAC championship meet is this week. What are your aspirations in your weight class and how do you hope to contend for an individual conference title?

Rivera: “I’m looking to win the conference in my weight class and I want to qualify for regionals and states. I’d also like to win states as well since it’s my senior year. 

“It’s going to take everything I have and all the hard work I’ve done to make those things happen.”

The Richmond Observer will publish two more Official Athletes of the Week next week.

Kyle Pillar

Nine-time N.C. Press Association award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni.

Submit local sports scores to: kpillar@richmondobserver.com

Twitter: @ROSports_