T-Duck wrestling team prepares for new semester competitions

Richland’s wrestling team was established in the 1970s and ran through the 1980s. After a hiatus of more than 30 years, the program returned to Richland in the fall of 2016. 

Wrestling is a one-on-one, full-body, contact sport that takes technique, skill, toughness and flexibility. 

The goal is to pin the opponents’ shoulders to the matt to get points. Men and women can join the teams. 

Coach Bill Neal, head wrestling coach and a fitness and health instructor at Richland, said there are not any tryouts. 

Coach Bill Neal trains teammates during practice with each other.

Coach Bill Neal trains teammates during practice with each other.

Anyone who would like to join the team and learn the sport of wrestling should come to practice, see if they like it and decide if they are willing to stick with it. The team will practice from 2 to 4 p.m Monday through Thursday in Guadalupe Hall this fall.

Wrestlers at Richland have achieved All-American status in the NCWA. Richland’s Christina Ellis went to nationals during the spring semester (2019). Years earlier, in 1988, Richland wrestler Evan Bernstein made it to the Olympics.  

“We always shoot for national recognition for our team and individuals. It is gratifying to have one of our wrestlers reach the top,” Neal said. 

The wrestling competitions begin in November and go through March. Neal said the schedule will be released in a couple of weeks. He’s waiting to see what the team will look like this year and hopes to have several returning students on the roster.

 “We are the only two-year college in the southwest part of the U.S. with a wrestling program,” Neal said. “Most of our competition is against four-year schools, many with a scholarship program.  So it is somewhat of an uphill climb to compete, but we know that from the start.” 

 “We are a collegiate level team. We wrestle other colleges but we belong to another organization other than the NJCAA,” Neal said. 

He said the reason is because the NJCAA doesn’t have a women’s wrestling program and there are men and women wrestling programs at Richland. 

Neal said he doesn’t intend on becoming an NJCAA or varsity team because it will put the team in a whole different bracket.

Neal added that “It is the only individual sport in the DCCCD.” 

“The rest are all team sports. So you are on your own. You cannot blame the guy or girl on your right or left,” he said.

Those who would like to get involved with the wrestling program can contact Neal at bneal@dcccd.edu or visit during office hours in Guadalupe Hall, G122.