Three Rivers College hosted its annual Meet the Raiders on Monday night where fans got to meet the new and returning faces of the Three Rivers athletic programs.
Nearly every seat was filled on the east side of the arena as the teams were introduced and fans got to mingle with the Raiders at the end of the evening.
“This is the first Meet the Raiders in two years where we don’t have any COVID rules in effect,” noted Raiders play-by-play Tim Hager, who acted as the emcee for the night.
A few teams saw an increase in numbers. Most notably the cheer squad and esports teams have expanded, allowing esports to compete against other schools for the first time since forming in 2020.
“We’re all ready to go for the season,” esports coach Alex Jameson said. “We’ve got a bunch of excited individuals that want to show their stuff and prove that Three Rivers can not only dominate on the court and on the field but online as well.”
The baseball team was the largest squad on hand with 44 ballplayers going the length of Gene Bess Court, many of whom are from the area with some alumni from Poplar Bluff, East Carter, Neelyville and Kennett high schools.
The Three Rivers rodeo team was recognized for a national championship they won in the spring.
“Casey Roberts graduated last year and won the national championship in bull riding,” rodeo coach Chad Phipps said. “He said he’s interested in coming back in the spring to get an agriculture degree and we’d love to have him back.”
Last, but certainly not least was the women’s and men’s basketball teams were introduced with a host of new players on each squad.
Lamont Jackson is the only returning player for the men while the women have six returning players, two of them redshirted last season.
“We’ve got a lot of new faces on this team,” women’s basketball coach Alex Wiggs said. “They’ve been working hard in the preseason and we’re looking forward to getting the season started.”
Among the new faces in the basketball programs are women’s assistant coach Caleb Livingston and men’s assistant coach Trey Rakes.
“Trey has done a great job so far,” men’s basketball coach Brian Bess said. “He brings a lot of energy to the program and he gives the guys a lot of physically demanding drills, which I like.”
The baseball and softball teams will have scrimmages throughout the fall, the rodeo team’s lone home competition will be Oct. 13-15 in Sikeston and the basketball teams will host Raider Madness, an open practice, at midnight on Oct. 1.
Robert Augsdorfer - Dailey American Republic