WADESBORO – The Richmond Senior High School Raider wrestling team headed to Anson High School for its “Cat Fight” tournament Saturday, and had an impressive showing despite being without five starters for the contest.
In a meet that was abbreviated to just three matches due to inclement weather concerns, the Raiders were without two starters who quit the team last week and three lost to injury. But that didn’t stop Richmond, as the Raiders muscled enough strength to finish in second place for the third consecutive meet.
Richmond’s wins on the day came over David W. Butler High School (59-24) and Chesterfield High School (52-30), but couldn’t muster enough fight to defeat the host team, falling to Anson (49-30).
“We came into the contest missing five starters,” head coach Earl Nicholson said. “But I felt that some of the team’s back-up guys really stepped in and did an outstanding job in the starters’ absence.”
The Raiders were once again led by senior Brandon Nifong, who improved to17-0 on the season. Nifong, who competed in the 182-pound weight class, gathered victories via pins over Alex Breza of Butler and Albert Bennett of Anson.
Sophomore Joey Nicholson continued his impressive streak, as he improved his record overall record to to 14-1 and went undefeated on the day along with teammates Zach Hamilton and Skylar Standridge (220-pound weight class); it was Hamilton and Standridge’s first time going undefeated at a meet this season.
Richmond won six matches by pinfall against Butler, along with three by forfeit and one by technical fall. Five Raider wrestlers took the mat against Chesterfield helping secure a 22-point victory in the bout before taking on Anson, where the team was only able to grab five wins.
“We should be getting back three starters this week (Steven Morales, Marcus Hester, and Tommy Shelton),” noted Nicholson.
The Raiders will head to rival Scotland High School for its first conference match of the season. The match is set for Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Laurinburg.