Meet the Raiders returns after 2020 absence

Meet the Raiders returns after 2020 absence

Three Rivers College held its annual “Meet the Raiders” night Monday at the Libla Family Sports Complex.

The annual event allows fans a chance to meet new Raiders and say hello to returning Raiders. After being canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year was the first as head coach for Alex Wiggs, Brian Bess and Tyler Smith, who were all promoted in 2020.

Monday was also the first Meet the Raiders for assistant coaches Anthony Beane, Marissa Webb, Summer Shockley and Zach McKenney.

The lights were turned off at the Libla and a spotlight shined on each Raider as they were announced, their picture displayed on the scoreboard as they walked across Gene Bess Court.

This year’s event marked the debut of Three Rivers’ new esports team, led by new coach Matthew Dowd. The non-scholarship roster had 14 players in attendance. Voice of the Raiders and Three Rivers alum Tim Hager gave the new team one bit of advice … beat Mineral Area.

The team will compete in 11 different games across multiple platforms, including Call of Duty: Warzone and Call of Duty: Cold War (all platforms), Hearthstone (PC), Super Smash Bros. (Switch), Madden (PS4), FIFA (PS4), NBA 2K (PS4), Rainbow 6 (PC), Rocket League (PC), Valorant (PC) and Overwatch (PC).

The women’s basketball team is coming off a trip to the NJCAA final four and returns four starters and 10 total players after finishing 24-1. Their first preseason game is just 30 days away on Oct. 15.

“The girls have been working hard and we’re ready to get going,” Wiggs said.

The six new faces are Deja Pryor (Memphis, Tenn.), Ari Winston (Southaven, Miss.), Mariah Smith (Tulsa, Okla.), Jenna McMillen (Mayflower, Ark.), Makenzi Davis (Neelyville), and Kourtney Kendrick (Boonville).

The softball team also reached the national tournament and finished in the final eight while Zoe Bisby won the home run derby. The Raiders also finished with seven Academic All-Americans.

“This is the most talented group in the field and in the classroom that we’ve had,” coach Jeff Null said.

While Bisby graduated after three years on the roster, the team is poised for another successful season with its top two pitchers returning in Kindi Puckett and Makale Floyd.

Null has 10 new freshmen on the team, including Poplar Bluff’s Audrey Rahlmann. Seven of the freshmen and 12 of the 19 players on the roster are from Missouri.

In June, the rodeo team sent bull riders Holden Moss and Cole Skender to the College National Finals Rodeo. Skender finished second, Moss fourth and both return for their sophomore seasons. Nine freshmen from five different states join the seven-person sophomore class. The class includes local recruits Cade White and Trace Hollida, both of Greenville, and Clara Riley of Sikeston.

The new faces for the men’s basketball team, which went 10-12 last season, come from all over the world. Brandon Harris (Savannah, Ga.) and Lamont Jackson (Philadelphia) are the only American players of the six additions. They’re joined by Paul Greene (Freeport, Bahamas), Simon Akena (Stockholm Sweden), Samuel Taulapiu (Frankston, Australia) and Yves Nkomba (Leeds, England).

Raider Madness is around the corner on Oct. 1, and the men will host a preseason scrimmage the following night.

Last season, the baseball team finished 20-27 and added 25 true freshmen and 28 total new players in all. Among them is Parker Moore (Poplar Bluff), Jorden Eaton (Clearwater), Charlie Parker (Campbell), Kaden Siebert (Campbell), Brycen King (Ellington), Jack Bell (Sikeston), Nolan Self (Sikeston), Peyton Heinley (Kennett), and Austin Gast (Cape Girardeau).

The most local team is once again the cheer team, which is entirely from Missouri. There are seven new freshmen on the roster in Allison Goodman (Neelyville), Sabrina Rojas (Twin Rivers), Fatima Flores (Kennett), Amari Green (Cape Girardeau), Haley Moore (Gideon), Chloe Watkins (Gideon) and Zakiya Wilson (Charleston).


Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic