Riggs hit century mark

Published 7:53 pm Saturday, January 28, 2012

Washington wrestling coach Daniel Riggs (center) earned his 100th win with the Pam Pack on Saturday. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

Washington wrestling coach Daniel Riggs headed into Saturday’s meet against Dixon, East Carteret, North Pitt, Camp Lejune and White Oak just needing one win to get his 100th career victory. His team ended up giving him five.
The Pam Pack rolled through the winter dual meet at West Carteret going a perfect 5-0 to help its sixth-year coach reach the century mark in style.
For Riggs, the milestone was further validation that the Washington wrestling program continues to head in the right direction.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Riggs said. “When I came here not many people knew about Washington wrestling but with the help of the assistant coaches and all the guys who have been through the program we’ve switched it around. Now people know who we are and have to watch out for us and have to work to try and beat us instead of just coming in and thinking they were going to beat us.”
During his tenure Riggs has done a magnificent job at the helm for the Pam Pack as he has presided over three state championships and guided two of his wrestlers to the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the school’s all-time wins list.
In the 2009-10 season Riggs looked on as both senior Justin “Weasel” Moore and junior Marquin Hill each won state championships. Weasel would end his highly decorated Washington career as the school’s all-time wins leader and would be enshrined in the Washington Walk of Fame the following fall.
In the 2010-11 season Hill repeated as state champion and fell one victory short of tying Moore’s mark for most wins. However, like Moore, Hill was also inducted into the Washington Walk of Fame by the next autumn.
Both wrestlers earned Coastal Conference MVP honors and hold a special place in Riggs’ heart.
“My two best moments are the year that Justin won it and we placed fifth as a team in the state,” Riggs said. “And the big one was when Marquin won a state title for a second time.”
Despite already hitting some high marks, Riggs said there are still plenty of goals left to accomplish.
“I’m still trying to get that (team) conference championship and then some day, I know it will be a big one, but I want to win a state title as a team,” Riggs said.
On Saturday, Riggs’ team looked like it was capable of helping him reach those goals as it went a perfect 5-0 as it beat Dixon 45-32, East Carteret 43-36, North Pitt 45-31, Camp Lejune 46-30 and White Oak 48-36.
Riggs said the key to success on Saturday was the Pack’s ability to get off to a fast start.
“I was pretty pleased with them. We usually come in to wrestle in the morning pretty slow because some of the guys are still tired,” Riggs said. “But this was the first time that we came in and started off on a good note.”
Washington was led by Jason Gardner and Devon Van Cura who both went a perfect 5-0 to pace the Pam Pack, while Jack Rodman, Thomas Remmick, David Giordano each went 4-1 and Tim Jordan went 3-1.
Washington won’t get too much time to rest after Saturday’s five-team marathon meet as it will travel to face White Oak on Tuesday and West Carteret on Wednesday before taking part in the Coastal Conference meet on Saturday.