Sunday, 12 January 2020 22:08

Raiders earn 2nd place at Montgomery Central Duals, Gallops and Owens go 5-0

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The Raiders pose with their second-place trophy after Saturday's Montgomery Central Duals. The Raiders pose with their second-place trophy after Saturday's Montgomery Central Duals. Contributed photo.

BISCOE — A couple of days after splitting two conference matches, the Richmond Senior High School wrestling team powered itself to a second-place finish in the Montgomery Central Duals on Saturday.

Using two undefeated performances by senior Austin Gallops (160-pound) and junior Ethan Owens (152-pound), the Raiders racked up a 4-1 overall record. Both Gallops and Owens would finish the day with five wins and be named their respective weight class champion.

The Raiders would defeat Albemarle High School 57-24, Randleman High School 46-30, host Montgomery Central 43-33 and Union Academy 48-35. Suffering just one loss, Richmond fell to first-place Glenn High School 62-18.

“Usually when everybody shows up on time in the morning, we’re going to have a good day,” smiled head coach Earl Nicholson. “That happened this morning. We’re still not at full speed, but the guys wrestled really good and aggressive early.

“I’m still seeing little improvements and there are still some small mistakes we need to correct,” he added. “Overall, it was a pretty good day for us. A lot of guys got to wrestle and some junior varsity guys had to step in for us and help out to go the distance.”

Gallops returned to Richmond’s lineup after missing a couple of tournaments due to a shoulder injury. He made up for it in a big way, earning five wins to increase his season record to 19-7. Three of his wins at Montgomery Central came via pinfall.

Opening his day, Gallops earned a 14-5 major decision victory over Albemarle’s Malik Long. He followed that up with a pin over Glenn’s Omari Lee in the first round, one of just three wins for the Raiders over the Bobcats.

A forfeit win over Randleman added to his total, and Gallops jumped up to the 170-pound weight class against Montgomery Central. He had no problem against Zachary Lucas, pinning him in the first round. Gallops ended his day with a first-round pin against Union Academy’s Daniel Beare.

Owens was equally as impressive, starting with a pinfall over Jylukus Hyatt (Albemarle) in the second round. He used back-to-back forfeits against Randleman and Glenn, before ending the day with victories over Will Davis (Montgomery Central, injury time) and Josiah Hemphill (Union Academy, pin).

Austin Gallops (left) and Ethan Owens (right) with their first-place medals.

“It helped a lot having Austin back in the lineup,” Nicholson shared. “We wouldn’t have gotten second without him. “He had some pretty tough opponents and beat some of the other teams’ best guys.

“Ethan has been going 3-2 or 2-3 most of the season, so I’ve been waiting for him to wrestle like he did today,” he added. “He put it all together and really helped us.”

Sophomore Andres Sanchez (113-pound) helped the Raiders by going 4-1 on the day. His lone loss was a 2-5 decision to Glenn’s Isaac Sheehan, but he had two forfeit victories, a pin on Robert Russell (Randleman) and a 15-0 technical fall against Albemarmel’s Omarion Hinson.

Senior captain Joey Nicholson wrestled early in the tournament, picking up three wins in four matches, before an injury sidelined him in the final match.

Because of final exams this week, the Raiders will bypass their usual Wednesday Sandhills Athletic Conference match, and return to the mat Saturday at the Bulldog Brawl at St. Pauls High School.

Kyle Pillar

Sports Editor. IUP communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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