Richardson reaches 100-win milestone
LEDGER – Reaching the 100-win milestone would be a significant accomplishment for most high school wrestlers, but for Mitchell senior Ryan Richardson, it was just another win.
When the 182-pound Richardson defeated defending state champion Payne Anderson of Robbinsville 6-4 in overtime Thursday, Dec. 13, to notch his 100th win, he felt as if it was something that was supposed to happen.
“When you put in all the work and follow the process, you expect things like this to happen,” he said. “Results like this aren’t unfathomable when you put in the work we do.”
Richardson has wrestled for four years at Mitchell and has won 16 matches since winning his 100th. His lone loss this season came in the semifinals at the Smoky Mountain Grapple in Asheville to Anthony Johnson of TC Roberson.
“It’s always good to have guys you can count on, and Ryan is one of those,” said Ed Duncan, Mitchell High School head wrestling coach. “It makes coaching a lot easier.”
Winning is a common occurrence for Richardson. He is a three-time Greco state champion, the 2016-17 Western Highlands Conference runner-up, the 2016-17 regional fourth-place finisher, the 2017-18 Western Highlands Conference champion, the 2017-18 regional third-place finisher, has twice earned “Most Pins” at Mitchell, was 2017-18 Mitchell High School Most Valuable Wrestler, was a state qualifier in 2016-17 and 2017-18, finished in third place in the state individual championships in 2017-18 and is a two-time beach wrestling national champion.
“I plan on getting back to the state championships,” he said. “That’s one thing I’m focused on. But Mitchell wrestling doesn’t revolve around me. We’re a team, and I’m just one person. So, I do what I can to help my team.”
Richardson joins a select group of Mountaineer wrestlers who have achieved the 100-win milestone, and Duncan said his efforts are an example of what hard work can do.
“Winning in wrestling takes a little bit of luck and a whole lot of perseverance,” Duncan said. “A lot of wrestlers don’t start as freshmen or sophomores and with around 30 matches a year it means getting to 100 wins means someone is not only a great wrestler but also has been in the varsity lineup throughout high school. Obviously Ryan is a great wrestler for us.”
Richardson plans to join the Marine Corps after graduation and wrestle at the Virginia Apprentice School while enlisted.