Richmond wrestlers set to compete in regional event
By Shawn Stinson
ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond Senior wrestling team is planning on sending 13 wrestlers to compete in the 4A East Region at Jack Britt.
That is if the winter weather will allow it.
The tournament was scheduled to begin Friday afternoon and conclude Saturday. The recent winter storm has pushed the start of the tournament to Saturday afternoon. Weigh-ins will begin at 1 p.m., with the competition starting at 2 p.m. The event will now wrap up Sunday with the first matches starting at 2 p.m.
But once again all of this relies on the weather and the roads cooperating.
Richmond coach Earl Nicholson said during Tuesday’s seeding conference call, this week’s winter storm was a big part of the conversation.
“They talked about holding it Friday-Saturday, Saturday-Sunday or Sunday-Monday based on the weather,” Nicholson said.
Earlier this week, Hoke athletic director Gary Brigman said there was a mention of allowing the top four seeds in each weight class advancing to the state tournament in Greensboro if the regional event was unable to be held.
“They didn’t even mention it during the call,” Nicholson said that plan.
With the majority of school districts not in session today, teams would need to receive permission to travel and compete this weekend. Nicholson added that is not 100 percent guaranteed all schools would be receive the go-ahead.
In an effort to assist the regional tournament directors, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association tweaked its rules and by-laws for the weekend.
“If there are postponements, all regionals must make every effort to avoid Sunday competition, especially if Saturday is available and safe for travel,” the press release stated. “However, as a last resort, regional competition may be held Sunday afternoon, February 16. Weigh-ins cannot occur any earlier than noon and wrestling cannot begin any earlier than 1:00 pm. Additionally, the NCHSAA must approve all revised schedules.”
Hunt earns No. 4 seed
Trinity Hunt earned the highest seeding amongst the Richmond wrestlers. Hunt is seeded fourth in the 120-pound division with a 29-11 mark this season.
“This feels a lot better than last year when I was sixth,” Hunt said. “I had to go against the top guy in my second match I think. At least this time I will be going against guys who don’t have as good of a record as me before I face the better guys. By doing that I have a better chance of going to state.”
Zavier Covington and David Watkins are seeded sixth in their weight classes. Covington is 24-15 this season at 182, Watkins sports a 26-10 mark in 285.
The Raiders have four wrestlers seeded seventh — Gary Blue at 126, Dalton Faurot at 170, Jordan Jenkins at 106 and Bryan Marsh at 113. Blue is 27-13, Faurot is 20-13, Jenkins is 19-18 and Marsh is 11-7.
Blue said being out of school since early Tuesday is difficult on him when he steps back onto the mat.
“It makes me nervous and jittery like I might have forgotten a move or something,” Blue said. “And it’s super hard to maintain my weight. That’s why I don’t like being out of school and wrestling.”
Dominique Everette is the ninth seed at 138 with an 18-18 record, Joshua Conrad is the 10th seed at 195 with a 16-20 mark, Ma’Lek Rush is the 11th seed at 145 with a 12-20 mark and Luke Souder is the 13th seed at 160 with a 14-17 record.
Nicholson is unsure if Gerald Bethea, who is seeded eighth in the 220-pound division, will be cleared to participate in the tournament because of an illness. Bethea is 12-9 this season. Nicholson said he added junior varsity wrestler Blake Kelly to the roster and believes he will wrestle at 132 as the 16th seed.
“He is actually lighter than that,” Nicholson said about Kelly. “I am leaving it up to him if he wants to compete or not.”
Richmond-Scotland games moved to Monday
The Richmond-Scotland boys and girls basketball doubleheader scheduled for tonight has been moved to Monday evening because of the winter weather.
The girls game will tipoff at 6 p.m., followed by the boys contests at approximately 7:30 p.m.
Richmond athletic director Ricky Young said no decision has been made on the status of Saturday’s doubleheader with Hoke.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson may be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14 or on Twitter @scgolfer.
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