Three-Peat: Richards SoCon Wrestler of the Week
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – For the third-straight week and for the fourth time this season, VMI red-shirt junior Neal Richards earned the Southern Conference’s Wrestler of the Week award. In addition to Wednesday’s honor, he was named the conference’s top wrestler for the weeks of December 12 and January 16 and 23.
Richards, from South Chesterfield, Va., is the second wrestler in conference history to win the award four times in a single season and is the third wrestler in conference history to win three-straight times. He is the fourth wrestler in SoCon history to win four times over their career.
Richards was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler Saturday at the All-Academy Championships, hosted by Norwich University. He continued his excellent season by winning three matches to take the individual title at 174 pounds, pinning #18th-ranked Spencer Carey from Navy in 1:42 in the finals.
Richards started his day by pinning Brad Laughlin of Army in 5:39. He then defeated Randy Meneweather of the Air Force by an 11-4 decision to reach the finals. Richards has now won 15-straight matches, and is 22-3 on the season with eight pins, four technical falls and five major decisions.
Richards was recognized by The Open Mat on Monday in its Top Ten Performances of the week, coming in at #7. He climbed into the top 20 in the InterMat Division I Individual rankings, placing 19th this week at 174 pounds.
The Keydets are off this week, but return to the mat next Friday at Franklin & Marshall College at 7 p.m. in non-conference action.
2018-19 SoCon Wrestlers of the Week
Nov. 7 Fabian Gutierrez, Chattanooga
Nov. 14 Angel Najar, Appalachian State
Nov. 21 Andrew Morgan, Campbell
Nov. 27 Randall Diabe, Appalachian State
Dec. 5 Sawyer Root, The Citadel
Dec. 12 Neal Richards, VMI
Dec. 19 Michael Elliott, Appalachian State
Dec. 26 Jake Huffine, Chattanooga
Jan. 2 Randall Diabe, Appalachian State
Jan. 9 Alonzo Allen, Chattanooga
Jan. 16 Neal Richards, VMI
Jan. 23 Neal Richards, VMI
Jan. 30 Neal Richards, VMI