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Trio of seniors go undefeated in Richmond’s 2nd-place finish at Grapple at the Grove

The Richmond wrestling team poses with its second-place trophy following Saturday's tournament. (Contributed photo)

CLIMAX, N.C. — Showing out in a big way on Saturday, the Richmond Senior High School wrestling team brought home some hardware.

The Raiders and head coach Andre’ Ellerbe earned second place out of nine teams at the Grapple at the Grove invitational.

Held at Providence Grove High School, Richmond won four of its five team matches. The Raiders defeated Montgomery Central, North Moore, Randleman and Seaforth high schools.

The only team loss on the day came to Panther Creek High School.

Leading the way with perfect 5-0 records were seniors Jaxson Martin (145-pounds), Naaman Perakis (152-pounds) and Messiah Shaw (170-pounds).

Martin notched four pins and a decision (27 points), Perakis had four pins and a forfeit 30 points) and Shaw finished with two pins, two forfeits and a decision (27 points). 

“We wrestled some really great teams and put forth our best efforts to earn our first ever second-place trophy,” Ellerbe said, noting the team’s best finish in his two years as coach.

“We will take this success heading into Christmas break,” he added. “I’m proud of three of our seniors going undefeated and several other wrestlers going 4-1.”

Four Raiders each tacked on four wins — sophomores Joseph Patterson (138-pounds), Jackson Hamilton (182-pounds) and K’Mauri Morgan (220-pounds), along with senior Urijah McDonald (285-pounds).

Raiders cruise past North Moore

Richmond’s largest victory of the day was a 65-18 win over North Moore. The Raiders collected seven pinfall victories, three forfeits and one technical fall win.

Earning six points each on forfeits were D.J. Gainey (120-pounds), Shaw (170-pounds) and Jordan Hamilton (195-pounds). Patterson notched five points with a 17-2 technical fall over Bruce Thomas.

Adam Estridge (132-pounds) pinned Ram Lian, Martin got his first win by pinning Austin Williams, Perakis made quick work against Jason Hodges and Amir Martin (160-pounds) defeated Pascual Felix Miguel.

Also collecting pinfalls were Jackson Hamilton over Dillon May, Morgan against Nathan Rogers and McDonald in his match with Diego Reyes.

Middle, heavyweights help Richmond defeat Seaforth

A balance of five pins and four forfeits from the middle and heavyweight classes gave the Raiders a 54-29 win over Seaforth.

All of Richmond’s wins came in the 138-pound to 285-pound bouts. Forfeits were awarded to Perakis, Amir Martin, Shaw and Jordan Hamilton for 24 points.

Pinning their respective opponents to the mat were Patterson (Benjamin Johnson), Jaxson Martin (Jacob Phillips), Jackson Hamilton (Cole Seder), Morgan (Cole Ballard) and McDonald (Palmer Moad).

Six Raiders pin opponent in win over Randleman

Eight wins, all of which were worth six points each, provided another win for Richmond against Randleman. In the match, the Raiders secured the victory with a score of 48-34.

Six different wrestlers earned pins — Jayden Scott (126-pounds, Jason Tadeo), Jaxson Martin (Kolby Garner), Perakis (Caden Thorne), Shaw (Alexander Baker), Jackson Hamilton (Cottrell Davis) and Morgan (Joshua Garner).


The other 12 points came courtesy of forfeits, earned by Gainey and McDonald.

Final team win comes over Montgomery Central

Closing out its fourth team win of the day, Richmond outdid Montgomery Central 45-32. 

Using a total team effort, seven of Richmond’s eight individual match wins resulted in a pinfall, collecting 42 points. Patterson added the other three points in a 10-7 decision against Alekzander Reza.

Davin Sweatt (106-pounds) got into the win column, the 13th Raider to earn at least one win during the tournament, with a pinfall over Shyla Vinesone.

Other pins belonged to Jaxson Martin against Thomas Manness, Perakis over Anthony Munoz, Shaw in a bout with Sairam Veerasurla, Jackson Hamilton over Preston Giberti, Morgan against Kohl Greene and McDonald in the heavyweight battle with Jeremiah Cassidy.

Raiders edged by Panther Creek

Almost completing the perfect day on the mat, Richmond came up six points short against Panther Creek, 39-33.

Estridge started with his second win of the day, earning a 13-11 decision and three points against Noah Vo. Adding decisions and three points apiece were Jaxson Martin 3-1 over Nasir Henderson and Shaw 12-5 in his match with Mason Davis.

Sweatt was awarded another six points in the 106-pound match thanks to a forfeit, also his second win of the tournament.

Closing out the day with one more pinfall victory were Gainey (Jesse Farnsworth), Patterson (Gabriel Mumma) and Perakis (Ethan Cohen).

Gainey had three wins, Jordan Hamilton, Estridge, Amir Martin and Sweatt all had two wins and Scott finished with one win.

The Raiders (7-6, 1-1 SAC) will return to Sandhills Athletic Conference competition on Wednesday, Jan. 4. Richmond will wrestle host Southern Lee and fellow conference foe Union Pines.

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Kyle Pillar is a 22-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on X @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.