Fans got their first taste of the Raiders wrestling team this year at the annual Red and Black Intrasquad dual, held Wednesday night in the McNeal Pavilion.
The Black team barely scraped together a win against the Red squad with a 33-21 victory in the dual.
The Black team was comprised of all returning SOU wrestlers and scored three victories late in the night to secure the win.
The Red team was made up of freshmen, red-shirts, and transfer students. There were 15 matches in the dual, and only two were won by a pin.
“I felt very good about things,” said Head Coach Mike Ritchey. “The guys wrestled well and we got what we wanted out of tonight.”
The first match of the night featured freshman Mitchell Lofstedt of the Red squad who scored a 12-3 win over fellow freshman Joseph Hunt. Lofstedt a three- time Oregon State Champion was a big recruit this year for Coach Ritchey.
The only two pins of the night came when senior Seth Roy pinned freshman Anthony Ough at 149 pounds, and later junior John Bates pinned senior Seth Roy in 30 seconds in the heavyweight match.
The Raider’s program is currently ranked No. 9 in the NAIA Pre-season Top 20 list, with four wrestlers ranked in the top eight for the respected weight classes.
Fourth-ranked senior Trevor Lofstedt (133), second-ranked junior Barry Johnson (141), fifth-ranked senior Chase Locke (197), and sixth-ranked John Bates (heavyweight) all took home victories.
During the dual, there was also an intermission held in order to honor former assistant coach Matt Holt who will be leaving to pursue personal endeavors.
“It’s hard to wrestle your own guys,” said Ritchey. “But you have to go out there and compete.”
The Raiders look to compete as they begin regular season on Nov. 16 when they participate in the University of Pacific Open.