photo of ESU athletics
One of the nation’s oldest programs and the oldest in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC), the East Stroudsburg Warriors have taken to the mat since 1929. The Warriors are 14-year members of NCAA Division II, and have 16 All-Americans and one National Champion in their two stints in the division. ESU wrestled DII 1974-76, and then reclassified again to NCAA Division II in 2010 after 30 years wrestling NCAA Division I. Anibal Nieves, a two-time NCAA Division I National Qualifier and All-American in 1989 for the Warriors, is currently leading the program at his alma mater.
A season ago, a pair of Warriors made the trip to the NCAA Division II National Championships, with both Michael Raccioppi (174) and Eliott Riddick (184) earning trips to Nationals. Raccioppi earned his second trip to the NCAA meet, while Riddick qualified for the first time in a win over Pitt-Johnstown’s Connor Craig in the 184 final to become the first Warrior to win a Regional title since 2013. Both ESU National Qualifiers earned 2020 NWCA All-American status.
Both Racioppi and Riddick were seniors for the Warriors last season, but a pair of ESU wrestlers took sixth at the Regional a season ago and will be back for next year in Brandon De La Rosa (125) and Marquan Payne (157).