It’s that time again sports fans: time for Rider Broncs wrestling. In what seems to be an up-and-down season, the Broncs increase to a 6-6 record after overtaking Drexel in a Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) dual meet.
They have been on top of their game for most of the season except for losing some close matches here and there.
They started the winter break with a loss against Lehigh University. The Mountain Hawks won eight of their 10 opening bouts, never once giving Rider the chance for a comeback as Lehigh claimed a 26-10 victory over the Broncs.
Since that time they have gone on to participate in the 76th Wilkes Open Tournament as well as the Midlands Championships, where they finished in 16th and 46th place, respectively.
Senior Doug Umbehauer placed third after winning five of six matches, only losing to a national champion from host Northwestern University. He was pinned by top-seeded Jake Herbert in the semifinals.
As the break progressed, Rider lost to both Edinboro and Old Dominion, and won against North Dakota State at the Virginia Duals.
The Broncs then traveled to compete in the CAA Duals held in Fairfax. They won two of the three matches there, only losing to Hofstra University.
As the winter break for Rider came to a conclusion, the Broncs lost 18-16 to Rutgers but won 19-18 over Clarion this past Saturday.
The match against Clarion was an exciting one indeed.
“The Broncs won six of their 10 bouts in a come-from-behind victory,” Head Coach Gary Taylor said to Rider Sports Information. “Clarion has a pretty good team.”
On Tuesday, Rider overtook conference rival Drexel 25-10 by winning seven of their 10 bouts.
Freshman Jimmy Kirchner started things off for the Broncs by winning at 133 to get Rider on the board. Freshman Aaron Nestor won by fall, his third pin of the season and first at 149, to give Rider a 12-4 lead.
Junior Michael Kessler, ranked 25th in the nation and second in the CAA, defeated the sixth ranked wrestler in the CAA to give Rider a 15-4 lead.
Senior Doug Umbehauer, ranked fifth in the nation and second in the CAA, aided the Broncs in their victory, winning by a major decision.
Junior Ed Bordas, ranked 31st in the nation and first in the CAA, defeated Kyle Frey, ranked third in the CAA, for the final score for the Rider win.
The Broncs will continue their schedule against Old Dominion in a CAA match on Feb. 14.
The Broncs have a promising end to the season ahead of them, and if they can wrestle as hard as they are now, then they will quite possibly bring home a championship or two.