Richland wrestlemania, Super Bowl teams set

The Richland College community was in for a real treat as the school hosted a dual wrestling match for the first time in 30 years. The Thunderducks hosted the University of North Texas Mean Green on Jan. 20. The night belonged to the Ducks who laid a lot of twisting, tackling and smackdowns on the Mean Green. 

Maripo Gasarabaga pinned his opponent in match 141 while George Haskins pinned his opponent a few rounds later. Trey Moore also downed his opponent in bout 157. Claudio Rios defeated his opponent by a score of 26-15 and Kendrell Willis won his match 2-1. 

UNT was short-handed with forfeiture points going to J.P. Robledo, Dustin Basham, and Armani Broussard. There were some close matches and lots of debate. Payton Ward in match 125 and Mike Basaldu in the 133 contest did tremendous jobs but came up short. In the end, the T-Ducks came out on top, 41-12. 

Richland wrestling coach Bill Neal was impressed the entire night. He said it was a good feeling to restart the program. He also said that they had trouble getting other schools to come in for the matches. After that impressive win, hopefully Richland will get to see more matches on campus next season. 

The T-Ducks were scheduled at press time to continue the season with a Jan. 28 national tournament in St. George, Utah. They’re back home for the State Duals and Qualifier for the National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA) National Tournament to be held in Allen in March. 

This was my first time to check out a wrestling match in person and it was a thrill to watch. The way I see it, the tradition remains strong since Richland’s return to the program as a club last fall. 

The coaches and wrestlers continue to make progress in their regional and national meets. The biggest goal is to get to the state and nationals. 

Richland is no stranger to national tournaments and is known for winning national awards. Indeed, it was an outstanding job all around. Continue to support your T-Ducks as they lay smackdowns on other schools.

Super Bowl LI set for Houston

The Atlanta Falcons played their final game at the Georgia Dome, beating the Green Bay Packers, 44-21. It was a long time coming for Falcons nine-year quarterback Matt Ryan as Atlanta won its second-ever NFC championship. 

The Falcons’ opponent, as expected, will be the New England Patriots. They beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-17 to win their ninth AFC championship. So much for those suspensions. That didn’t stop Tom Brady. The future Hall-of-Famer will be making his seventh Super Bowl appearance, which is the most by any NFL quarterback. The Pats are also on the hunt to tie the Cowboys and 49ers with five Super Bowl titles. The Falcons would like to christen the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta next season with the franchise’s first Super Bowl trophy. 

The stage is set at NRG Stadium in Houston on Sunday so get ready for the usual festivities. Country music singer Luke Bryan will sing the National Anthem. Lady Gaga, who sang the anthem last year, will star in the halftime show.