Thursday, 06 December 2018 21:08

Richmond wrestling opens SAC play with split against Hoke County and Pinecrest

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Junior Austin Gallops is awarded his second victory of the night in Wednesday's SAC opener at Scotland. Junior Austin Gallops is awarded his second victory of the night in Wednesday's SAC opener at Scotland. Photo courtesy of Deon Cranford.

LAURINBURG – Juniors Joseph Nicholson and Austin Gallops were the only two Raiders to go 2-0 for Richmond Senior High School’s wrestling team in its Sandhills Athletic Conference opener at Scotland High School Wednesday evening. 

The Raiders finished 1-1 on the night after falling to perennial powerhouse Pinecrest High School Patriots, before rebounding to defeat the Hoke County High School Bucks.

The opening dual started with a Pinecrest forfeit when the Patriots had no available wrestler to compete with Richmond sophomore Cale Luckey in the 106-pound class.  Pinecrest’s Matthew Rowland (113-pound) pinned Richmond’s Dante Baldwin to tie up the team score, but the Raiders answered right back.  Nicholson took down Pinecrest’s Treyvon Shodja in the 120-pound class to put the Raiders back on top 12-6.

After that, it was all Pinecrest.  The Patriots won by pinfall over the Raiders in eight out of the remaining 10 weight classes, and also earned a forfeit victory over Richmond in the 220-pound class.  Gallops’ 6-2 minor decision over Pinecrest’s Monroe Payton earned Richmond three additional points, but Pinecrest earned the dual victory by a score of 66-15.

After a quick team meeting, the Raiders were ready to hit the mat again.  The meet began like the opener with Luckey earning a forfeit victory and giving Richmond an early 6-0 advantage.  After Nicholson pinned Hoke County’s Aden Oakes, freshman Dominick Leviner fell to Hoke County’s Chase Vettel.  The Raiders were once again looking at a similar 12-6 lead after three matches.

This time, it was Richmond that put together a string of victories.  Sophomore Bryant Coll (132-pound), sophomore Kaden Walker (160-pound), Gallops (170-pound) and Jordan Ratliff (285-pound) all won by pinfall for the Raiders.  The undermanned Hoke County team aided Richmond’s efforts with five forfeits in the 138, 145, 152, 195 and 285-pound classes. 

Richmond gave six points back to the Bucks with a forfeit in the 220-pound class, the only weight class the Raiders failed to participate in during the conference season opener.

“With football over, we’ll get Skylar Standridge in the 220,” said Richmond head coach Earl Nicholson.  “He wasn’t able to be with us tonight.”

“Overall, we did well tonight.  We even picked up a few big wins against Pinecrest.”

Richmond (9-7, 1-1 SAC) will travel to Anson County High School on Saturday for a non-conference meet which is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.