The wrestling program at Tyler Consolidated High School paid homage to long time mentor and wrestling coach, Larry Richie, last weekend as they renamed their annual "Wrestle-A-Bout" tournament to honor the man who started the tournament several years ago. Richie's sons, Isaiah and Elijah, also former Silver Knight wrestlers, were on hand to to honor their father and lend a hand when needed.
"The Richie men, Elijah and Isaiah, were able to grace us with there appearance," said Silver Knight head coach, Chad Snider. Isaiah even sang the National Anthem for us! It was nice seeing them and their better halves."
"This was the first time I actually performed the task of a tournament director, and I assure you it takes much more work than what the fans get to see. I would like to thank all who helped make it happen. We are lucky enough to have mat maids who always perform flawlessly. We also had some help from the NHS, past wrestlers, boosters, parents, teachers, and any student that Coach Blake could persuade walking down the hallways."
Isaiah and Elijah Richie
"Luckily, we had few setbacks and the tournament went as planned."
Eleven teams participated in the tournament with the team from Toronto taking first place in the overall team competition with 188 points. They were followed in order by: Sissonville, 183; Ritchie County, 175.50; Clay-Battelle, 127; Magnolia, 120; St. Marys, 68.50; Tyler Consolidated, 66; Ravenswood, 64; Notre Dame, 55.50; JV, 55.50; and John Marshall "B" team, 47 points.
"When all was said and done, we ended up pulling out a couple of placers," the coach said. "Austin Spencer was able to bring home the title in the heavyweight class, and Joe Henthorn brought in a respectable runner-up title at 132, and senior Dustin Tawney placed fourth in the 195 weight class."
Last week, the Knights wrestled at Magnolia vs. the Blue Eagles and Linsly, and were defeated by a small margin in each match.
"We didn't have our full line-up due to illness," the coach said. "But we were able to secure a few wins. Senior, Joe Henthorn, has been performing well lately and only has two losses for the season. He was able to go undefeated on the night."
"Freshman 285 pounder, Austin Spencer, has also been quite impressive this year. He was able to come from behind in both matches and win by pin. Austin isn't the biggest heavyweight out there, so the fans really enjoy watching him bring down the big boys! I think we are witnessing history in the making with our tough heavyweight."
"All of our team is improving. Slowly, we are fixing common "beginner errors". We have a strong work ethic, and are going to go places in the future as long as we stay focused on our goals. The Knight wrestlers have some potential."
"As I looked at the tournament from a new perspective, I tried to think of what Larry would have done in certain instances, and it occurred to me that we should be wrestling for fun."
"I realize that it is a competition and everyone is in it to win it, but one should also remember that sportsmanship is a quality of a winner, regardless of the score. Referees will miss calls, mistakes will happen at scores tables, or maybe you woke up on the wrong side of the bed. At the end of the day, whether your a fan, coach, or athlete, be a good sport. I think it says more about you than you realize."
The Knight wrestlers will see action again, after the holiday break, on Jan. 2 when they travel to Beallsville. On Jan. 5 the team will host Cameron and then a Tri-match with Cameron and St. Marys.