Jared Riggins, left, of Jackson High School pinned his opponent Thursday at the MHSAA Division 1 team district semifinal at home.
By Jeff Steers
It is hard to believe that the wrestling career of Jackson High School senior Jared Riggins could be over in a month.
The three-time state qualifier said Wednesday he is not sure he will continue his wrestling career in college.
A scholarship offer from a difference source has helped sway Riggins in another direction.
Riggins recently earned the Chick Evans Scholarship through the Country Club of Jackson. The Evans Scholarship a full ride scholarship that includes tuition and housing and is renewable up to four years.
“I told the Michigan State University wrestling coach that I would make a decision after the season,” Riggins said.
Riggins plans to study business at MSU.
Now, he has some unfinished business to attend to.
Riggins lost in the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 1 state wrestling finals a year ago to Joshua Edmonds of Detroit Catholic Central at 130 pounds.
Riggins said he made some mental mistakes in the match.
“I took a not very smart shot that cost me,” Riggins recalls. “The match was tied at 3-all at the time.”
He scored an escape in the final period to pull within one point at 5-4 but had to gamble on a late shot that cost him two more points. He lost 7-4 to finish second in the tournament.
“I learned that I need to stay in my element and wrestle my match,” Riggins said of the loss. “That is something that I am trying to focus on.
“I didn’t wrestle very smart.”
Riggins has come a long way from being urged into the sport by the Weatherspoon family. He started wrestling in fourth grade but quit until his seventh grade year.
He improved enough by his freshman and sophomore years to become a state qualifier.
Last year was a break through season for Riggins with 35 wins.
“I started attending the Simmons Academy of Wresting, and working with Seth Phebus of Western,” Riggins said. “It has been a joint effort from a lot of people.”
Riggins said his record this season is “something and one” this season with his only loss to three-time state champion Jordan Hamdan of Hudson.
“It was sweet and sour to advance to the championship match a year ago,” Riggins said. “Wrestling is a great sport because it gives you self-accountability … there is no one else to blame out there.
“There is also no greater feeling than having your hand raised on the mat.”
Riggins’ remaining matches in high school will have to be individual contests. The Vikings lost to Holt 55-18 at home in the MHSAA Division 1 team district on Thursday.
Riggins and Jayson Roy (285 pounds) earned pins for the Vikings. Brayden Bankhead (140) and Benoit Richards (215) both earned hard-fought one-point wins for the Vikings.
Here are team district results from Wednesday and Thursday:
Jackson High School wrestler Brayden Bankhead, left, earned a one-point win over his Holt High School opponent during the MHSAA Division 1 team district semifinal at home Thursday.
MHSAA team district tournament results
Division 1 at Jackson
Holt 55, Jackson 18
Division 2 at Northwest
Eaton Rapids 45, Western 15
Northwest 46, Charlotte 30
Eaton Rapids 51, Northwest 16
Division 3 at Leslie
Leslie 54, Michigan Center 24
Division 3 at Jonesville
Onsted 46, Jonesville 30
Columbia Central 42, Hillsdale 30
Onsted 46, Columbia Central 21
Division 4 at Napoleon
Napoleon 52, Lumen Christi 22
Springport 66, Vandercook Lake 6
Springport 57, Napoleon 18
Springport advances to face Flint Hamady at the D-4 regional semifinal at home on Wednesday.
Members of the Springport High School varsity wrestling team celebrates a Division 4 district title after defeating Napoleon on the road Thursday.
Division 4 at East Jackson
Manchester 70, East Jackson 12
Manchester 84, Grass Lake 0
Division 4 at Addison
Hanover-Horton 64, Concord 12
Homer 36, Addison 29
Hanover-Horton 54, Homer 21
Hanover-Horton advances to the D-4 regional semifinal on Wednesday against Mendon at MHS.
Photos by Jeff Steers/JTV Sports