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Eli Richards in top 12 at High School Senior Nationals

April 2, 2022

Bonners Ferry High School stand-out wrestler Eli Richards recently traveled to Virginia Beach, Virginia, for the High School Senior Nationals, competing against the best high school seniors in the country. In his first bout in a solid 64 man bracket, Eli came out on top, pinning Zalan Wilson of Louisiana at 3:11. In his second bout, Eli won again, pinning Jonah Gruenes of Minnesota at 4:55.

Eli then faced fourth seed Roberto Padilla of New Jersey and lost by pin at the end of the third period. In Eli's next match, he came up against Isaac Garcia of Nevada and scored two points on a cheap tilt in last seconds of the match, giving him the win on a 7-5 decision.

Advancing on the consolation side of the bracket, his next match came against Kyle Lee, a two time state champion from Connecticut. Eli made short work of his opponent winning by pin at :38. This advanced Eli into the blood round, meaning he was one match away from placing in the top eight and earning High School National All-American Honors. Eli came up against Anthony Pyron of Tennessee and lost by decision 5-1 in a hard-fought match, putting him in the top 12.

"I'm bummed about not placing in the top eight," Eli said. "I feel that I could have done better, but not being able to practice in our wrestling room the last few weeks affected my performance. At the same time, I feel good for how far I made it, considering everything.

Eli extends his thanks to his dad, Corey, Bonners Ferry Vet Clinic owners Linda and Roland Hall for their support, Justin Pluid for practicing with him and coaching him and to Sam of Apex for letting him practice at his gym while the high school wrestling room was unvailable.

Questions or Comments? Send us an email!

Mike Weland, Publisher

6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

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