VMI Wrestling: Keydets host The Citadel on Saturday

vmi soccerThe VMI wrestling team will host The Citadel Saturday at 2 p.m. in Cormack Hall in an important match in the Southern Conference standings. It is the Keydets final home match of the 2018-19 season and will serve as Senior Day for the program’s two seniors, Zach Schmidt and Hunter Starner.

The matchup will be streamed live on ESPN3, with Chris Graham leading the coverage.

The Keydets and the Bulldogs each have 2-3 conference records – the winner will take fourth place in the seven-team Southern Conference. VMI broke an 11-year losing streak against the Bulldogs last year by taking a 24-21 victory in Charleston, S.C. Cliff Conway, Starner and Chris Beck were among the winners for VMI.

VMI red-shirt junior Neal Richards was named the Southern Conference Wrestler of the Week Wednesday, an honor that he earns for the fifth time this season. He is the sixth wrestler in SoCon history to be named wrestler of the week five times in his career and the first wrestler in SoCon history to be named wrestler of the week five times in a single season.

Richards continued his winning streak last week, defeating two SoCon opponents. He beat #17th-ranked Andrew Morgan of Campbell University Saturday by a decisive 14-7 margin and pinned Kyle Homet of Gardner-Webb in 5:28 on Tuesday. He has now won 18-straight matches and is 25-3 on the season, with nine pins, five technical falls and five major decisions – and is 5-0 in conference action.

The Southern Conference championships are slated for Sunday, March 10 in Boone, N.C.

Probable lineups


  • 125: Derek Shockey
  • 133: Cliff Conway
  • 141: Dom Gallo
  • 149: Zach Schmitt
  • 157: Darren Ostrander
  • 165: Luke Nicksic
  • 174: Neal Richards
  • 184: Max Gallahan
  • 197: Chris Beck
  • 285: Tre Momon

The Citadel

  • 125: Anthony New
  • 133: Paddy Kearney
  • 141: Keegan Connolly
  • 149: Chon Porter
  • 157: Rian Burris or Cole Burke
  • 165: Dazjon Castro
  • 174: Cooper Youngblood or Jared Zenie
  • 184: Martin Duane
  • 197: Sawyer Root
  • 285: Michael McAleavey or Brennan Hunt
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The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
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