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Raider wrestlers win fifth straight sectional championship


Raider wrestlers win fifth straight sectional championship

John Strohl

Harrison’s wrestling team continues to dominate year in and year out.

The Raiders won their fifth straight sectional championship and will look to win their fourth straight regional title Saturday.

Recently, Harrison won its second straight NCC tournament.

The team prepared for both tournaments with one goal in mind.

That goal was to “continue to improve and out work our opponents,” according to head coach Scott Van Der Aa.

The Raiders did just that.

“When January hit, we really picked up the intensity in practice and that is what has made the difference for us at this point,” said Van Der Aa.

Earlier in the season, Lafayette Jeff beat the Raiders.

Harrison answered by beating the Bronchos in the NCC tournament, then a second time in the sectional tournament.

Harrison’s depth played a very important role in the victories.

“I thought the NCC tournament would be tougher overall which would make it easier to win,” said Van Der Aa. “We have a team that has more depth than any other team in the area and so the tougher the tournament, the better we do.”

The Raiders scored in all 14 of the weight classes.

Harrison outscored the Bronchos 239.5-220.

Harrison had three individual champions and earned five second place finishes compared to Lafayette Jeff's three. The Raiders also finished with two third places, two fourth places, and two fifth places.

Trey McCartney opened up the championship round with a hard fought victory then Isaac Mathis and Donnie Crider followed with two more first-place finishes.

The Raiders now go to regionals on Saturday with high hopes.

Harrison also hopes to have several wrestlers qualify for the state.

“I believe our team will have several individual state qualifiers scoring points for us in the state championship,” said Van Der Aa