Riverside walks off Decatur in Ravens third straight duel victory

The Ravens wrestling team is looking to follow up last year’s sixth place finish at the state tournament.

The first half of the wrestling season came to a close for Auburn Riverside with a 39-36 point victory in a duel against Decatur on Dec. 21.

Ravens wrestling team is looking to follow up a sixth place finish in state last year with another quality season.

“We want to keep the same intensity as last year … We have a lot of studs this year,” said Raven Head Coach Arthur Troncoso.

On Wednesday night, the Ravens got out to a fast start. Chance Hanson (116-pounds), fifth-place state finisher Payton Eklund (120-pounds) and Shawn Kearney (126-pounds) all won their first matches by pin in the first round. These wins put Riverside in front of the Gators, 18-0.

Riverside ended up winning six of the initial seven matches. Max Erickson (138-pounds) and Alex Park (145-pounds) both won by first-round pin over the Gators. The only wrestler who won by points in the entire match was Ravens wrestler Parker Scheschy.

One of the many reasons this Raven team is so strong is because, “they work hard, they challenge each other every day,” said Troncoso. “We have the opportunity to be a top four team in the state, let’s go try and do that this year.”

After Scheschy’s 152-pound match, Decatur went on to win the next four matches and won via forfeit in the 195-pound weight class.

Decatur entered the final match of the night with a three-point lead over the Ravens. It came down to the 285-pound senior Nate Pritchard who had just signed with Washington State University earlier in the day.

Pritchard will play offensive line for the Cougs, but right now is looking to repeat a sixth place state appearance. The heavyweight took down the Gator sophomore, which led to a first-round pin and a walk-off victory for the Ravens. It isn’t something new to Pritchard though — in the Ravens only other duel this season, the same scenario played out and he won that duel for Riverside as well.

“It’s fun, it’s pretty big … It’s a big testament to our captains and our leaders to win these three duels,” said Troncoso

The Ravens face Federal Way at home Jan. 4 for their first post-winter break duel. A week after, Riverside takes on Mountainview and Auburn on Jan. 11-12, respectively.