ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond Senior wrestling team made easy work of a short-handed Scotland team on the same night it celebrated its seniors.
Before Wednesday’s match, the Raiders honored the careers of Bryson Connor, Robert David, Houston Hayden, Jayshaun Jasper, Bryan Marsh, Antoine Shaw, Corey Smith, Kemoni Styles and Sean Washington. Those nine seniors have combined for 149 wins this season.
“It’s just an amazing transformation over a three-to-four year period for some of these guys,” coach Earl Nicholson said. “To really absorb everything, you had to see those kids years ago — you wouldn’t believe it.
“They were losing and I was getting headaches because they wouldn’t listen to me,” he added. “Now, at this point, I can sit and enjoy. Every now and then they’ll look to me for some assistance, but they got it now.”
Richmond opened the match with three consecutive wins and eased its way to a 66-12 victory over Scotland at home Wednesday evening. The Raiders won five of the 14 matches by forfeit.
“It was senior night and the guys were pumped a little bit, but they (Scotland) were short some guys,” Nicholson said. “I felt like we still would’ve beat them, but I wanted some of their guys to be here because there are good matchups with some of our guys.”
Of the six seniors who were scheduled to wrestle in Wednesday’s conference match, only three had an opponent. Marsh (138), Jasper (145) and Smith (152) all won by forfeit. Styles (170), Shaw (220) and Hayden (285), however, were able to score pins on the night they were honored.
Styles added six points to Richmond’s overall score with his pin over Benjamin Tart, Shaw dominated Devon Hailey and Hayden capped things off by pinning his opponent with 57 seconds left in the first period.
Steven Morales (113), Tommy Shelton (132) and Skylar Standridge (195) also recorded pins in the match. Joseph Nicholson (106) and Gabriel Zenteno (120) were the other two Raiders who won by forfeit.
“We wanted some more work before this weekend, but it’ll work out better for us — with them not seeing some of our guys before Saturday,” Nicholson added.
Richmond will make its way to Pinecrest this Saturday to compete in the Southeastern Conference tournament. Matches begin at 10 a.m., with the Raiders hoping improve their record for the sake of earning a playoff spot.
They also get another get a chance to redeem themselves against Lumberton — who defeated them 59-21 at home earlier this month. After that loss, Nicholson said his team wasn’t as focused as they should’ve been.
“We want to get some pride back against Lumberton. We didn’t wrestle well that night and I know we can wrestle better,” Nicholson explained. “Our goal this weekend is to try and go 5-0. Basically, win as many matches as we can so we can get a playoff berth.”
Results from Wednesday’s match:
106: Joseph Nicholson (RICH) wins by forfeit, 6-0
113: Steven Morales (RICH) pins S. English (SCOT), 12-0
120: Gabriel Zenteno (RICH) wins by forfeit, 18-0
126: Q. Pearson (SCOT) wins decision over Marcus Hester (RICH), 18-3
132: Tommy Shelton (RICH) pins Ethan Tone (SCOT), 24-3
138: Bryan Marsh (RICH) wins by forfeit, 30-3
145: Jayshaun Jasper (RICH) wins by forfeit, 36-3
152: Corey Smith (RICH) wins by forfeit, 42-3
160: Charles Wall (SCOT) wins decision over Jeremy Wall (RICH), 42-6
170: Kemoni Styles (RICH) pins Benjamin Tart (SCOT), 48-6
182: Nicholas Pruitte (SCOT) pins Jaylynn Sturdivant (RICH), 48-12
195: Skylar Standridge (RICH) pins Elijah Williams (SCOT), 54-12
220: Antoine Shaw (RICH) pins Devon Hailey (SCOT), 60-12
285: Houston Hayden (RICH) pins K. Pruitte (SCOT), 66-12
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. at 910-817-2673 and follow the sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.
Richmond Senior’s Houston Hayden, one of the nine seniors who were honored Wednesday night, slams his opponent in the final bout of the conference match between Richmond and Scotland. Hayden would score a pin with 57 seconds left in the first period.
Richmond Senior’s Antoine Shaw attempts to pin Scotland’s Devon Hailey in the first period of the 220-pound matchup. Shaw would eventually pin Hailey in the second period, giving Richmond a 60-12 lead heading into the final bout.