To call Bryce Reddington motivated this year might have been an understatement on a par with the British feeling they had the colonies under their collective thumb back in 1776.
The Methacton High middleweight was a surprise state qualifier as a sophomore, Reddington surprised again last year when he won the Southeast Regional crown at Souderton Area High School.
But the biggest surprise came a week later when he was bounced from the PIAA Class AAA Championships in two matches.
The Warriors senior says now that he was devastated for about a week, but turned that disappointment into motivation.
This year, Reddington is unbeaten, no small feat in the ultra-competitive Pioneer Athletic Conference, and looking forward to another postseason.
He is also looking forward to next year when he will be wrestling at George Mason University.
Reddington gave a verbal commitment to the school recently.
“I went down there knowing it was a good school,” Reddington said. “I talked to the coaches, and they were all good guys.
“I saw a match, I know it’s a good school, and it turned out to be what I was looking for.”
The Warriors senior added that, while he took the announcement in stride, his mom and dad were a little more excited.
“They were much more excited for me to get this done,” Reddington said. “They were on me all the time to make up my mind, and when I did I think they were the ones who were relieved.”
As for his season, Reddington is happy and proud to be undefeated, but understands it means little right now.
“I didn’t take anybody lightly, and realistically there aren’t many slouches in the PAC-10,” he said. “I did what the team needed, and now I’m looking forward to going as far as I can with as many of my teammates as I can.
“This year was special for me because of how well we did as a team. It was nice to see the whole team perform so well. We had a lot of young guys on the team, and it was fun watching them step up and become part of the good season we had.
“There was a time when Methacton was as good as it got when it came to wrestling. You look at all of the awards and things the program has achieved, and they were fantastic.
“And maybe we got back to a little of that this year.”
But with the team competition in the rearview mirror, it’s time for Reddington to step up as an individual. He’s looking forward to the challenge.
“I just want to wrestle my best,” he said, “and be happy with my (scholastic) career,”
Win or lose?
“If I know I wrestled my best I can’t be disappointed, no matter how the season ends for me,” Reddington said. “If I don’t medal, I won’t be disappointed, as long as I feel I’ve wrestled my best.
“Last year I didn’t perform when I needed to, and that’s driven me.
“This year, my weight is good, I’m working hard and I’m healthy.
“If I come up short again, I know it won’t be for a lack of effort.”
Big goals for PW’s DiBattista
Marco DiBattista, who along with the rest of his Plymouth Whitemarsh teammates will be locking horns with Quakertown, Hatboro-Horsham and the rest of the Suburban One League’s American Conference this weekend at Hatboro-Horsham, will be looking to keep his cool.
The Colonials lightweight felt it’s what prevented him from advancing a year ago.
“I felt I was wrestling well, but when I got scored on, I got (mad) with myself and I feel it really hurt me,” he said. “I think I went in (to the postseason) with a little too much confidence, and when I got scored on I kind of lost it, got real mad and didn’t talk to anyone.
”This year I need to have the right mental attitude.”
DiBattista fell short at the District One Central Tournament, upset by Norristown’s Justin Altogge, and was soon out of the postseason. But now he looks to reverse his fortunes when the SOL American championships get underway Saturday morning (9 a.m.).
“I feel I can go to states this year,” he said. “I’m confident in my conditioning and my wrestling, and I think I can go pretty far.”
The Colonials, who finished behind Quakertown in the final league standings, feel they can overcome the Panthers and get past the Hatters in what could be a better tournament than anticipated.
“I’m excited,” DiBattista said. “I want to win the league title.
“The whole team does.”
Top Photo: Methacton’s Bryce Reddington, left, works against his Downingtown West opponent during the quarterfinal round of the District 1-AAA Team Duals on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017 at Pottsgrove High School. (Austin Hertzog/Digital First Media)