HAMLET — In its lone home match of the season, the Richmond wrestling program recognized its seven seniors on Wednesday.
Closing their regular season with a pair of Sandhills Athletic Conference matches, the Raiders came up short against Hoke County and Scotland high schools.
Prior to the opening match between the Bucks and Scots, Richmond head coach Andre’ Ellerbe introduced the seniors. Escorted by family members, friends, teammates and coaches, the Raiders made their way to the mat.
This year’s senior class included: Louis Fernandez, Amir and Jaxson Martin, Urijah McDonald, Gael Onesto, Naaman Perakis and Messiah Shaw.
“This group of seniors’ contributions to our program go beyond anything I can mention,” Ellerbe said. “There have been times where Naaman has helped me show a move to the team in the way that he or others may do it.
“Jaxson is a master at reading legs and some of our kids are able to do that better just from working with him. Messiah has one of the best double leg takedowns I’ve ever seen, and again our program has benefited from his help. All of our seniors are special and have made an impact.”
Tough Hoke County team hands Raiders loss
Opening with Hoke County, the Raiders suffered a 56-18 loss to a team Ellerbe called “one of the top three” in the conference.
Trailing 38-0, a string of three wins by Richmond’s middleweights got them on the board. Shaw (170-pounds) earned a pinfall victory over Emmanuel Bratcher in the second round.
Leading 2-0 after the first period, Shaw boosted his lead to seven points before holding Bratcher to the mat with 27 seconds left on the clock.
Freshman Jason Gainey (180-pounds) followed in the next match with Richmond’s second pin against the Bucks. He worked out to a 6-4 lead against Orion Becton before pinning him with 1:29 to go in the second round.
The Raiders’ other six points came when freshman Jordan Hamilton (195-pounds) earned a forfeit win, the first of two he’d earn during the meet.
Better outcomes against Fighting Scots despite loss
Faring better against Scotland, the Raiders put more points on the board but still lost by a 42-37 decision.
Richmond registered four pins (24 points), a forfeit (6 points), one major decision (4 points) and one decision (3 points).
Able to rebound from the Hoke County match, Fernandez (138-pounds), Jaxson Martin (145-pounds), Perakis (152-pounds), Amir Martin (160-pounds) and McDonald (285-pounds) were able to collect a senior night victory.
Fernandez started the scoring with a pin over Devin Ellerbe, followed by a pin from Jaxson Martin against Darion Harris. Amir Martin chipped in three points when he outlasted Anthony Pate in an 11-9 decision.
Sophomore Jackson Hamilton joined the win column in the 180-pound match, pinning Wyatt Locklear. Jordan Hamilton was awarded his second forfeit win of the night and McDonald capped the scoring with a major decision win over Joshua Stone 11-2.
The Raiders (11-11, 2-4 SAC) will compete in the SAC conference championship tournament on Saturday at Hoke County High School in preparation for regionals.