Neal Richards Named SoCon Wrestler of the Year
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Neal Richards Named SoCon Wrestler of the Year

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – VMI’s Neal Richards was named the Southern Conference’s Wrestler of the Year on Thursday.

Richards, a red-shirt junior from South Chesterfield, Va., has had an historic season already. He currently has a 26-3 overall record with 10 pins, five technical falls and five major decisions. Richards is 6-0 in Southern Conference matches and 16-0 in dual matches. Richards is a five-time Southern Conference Wrestler of the Week selection and earned the conference’s wrestler of the month honor for January and February.

He is ranked #16 in the latest NCAA Division I Coaches ranking, #26 in the Wrestling Ratings Percentage Index, #18 by Intermat and #16 by

The last Keydet to earn Southern Conference Wrestler of the Year was Adam Britt in 2003.

VMI will compete this Sunday at the Southern Conference Championships, hosted by Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C.


All-Conference Team:

125 – Alonzo Allen, Chattanooga

133 – Noah Gonser, Campbell

141 – Chris Debien, Chattanooga

149 – Josh Heil, Campbell

157- Rian Burris, The Citadel

165 – Tyler Marinelli, Gardner-Webb

174- Neal Richards, VMI

184 – Alan Clothier, Appalachian State

197 – Randall Diabe, Appalachian State

HWT- Cary Miller, Appalachian State


Wrestler of the Year: Neal Richards, VMI

Freshman of the Year: Tanner Smith, 149, Chattanooga


All-Freshman Team:

Anthony Brito, 141, Appalachian State

Jonathan Millner, 149, Appalachian State

Dazjon Castro, 165, The Citadel

Kyle Kretzer, 174, The Citadel

Selwyn Porter, 149, The Citadel

Drew Nicholson, 165, Chattanooga

Ryan Resnick, 157, Chattanooga

Tanner Smith, 149, Chattanooga

Kyle Gorant, 133, Davidson

Mitchell Trigg, HWT, Davidson