Posted: Thursday, January 31st 2013 at 1:44pm
Vikings' Reece ready for area meet sporting new look and attitude
By Jeff Hart Staff
RABBITTOWN – When East Hall wrestling coach Matt Morkel was introduced to one of his newest wrestlers last spring, he knew the name but had trouble placing the profile.
“I hadn’t seen him since the end of wrestling season and I kind of had to do a double-take,” Morkel said. “It was really hard to believe at first this was the same kid from just a few months before.”
Morkel was talking about now-junior Corey Reece, who had wrestled for North Hall at the 285-pound weight class the previous year. At the time of their introduction, however, Reece was down to a trim 170 pounds, 50 pounds lighter than his wrestling weight as a sophomore.
“He looked great. He was leaner and just seemed to have a different look about him,” Morkel said.
It’s not uncommon for wrestlers to drop down one weight class in a season. But four?
“I’ve never seen anyone do that before,” Morkel said. “I don’t know that I would recommend it normally, but in this case I think it was the right thing to do. Thinking back I don’t think he was a very healthy wrestler at 285.”
Reece was a .500 wrestler at 285 for the Trojans, mostly against bigger, stronger opponents. Reece said he knew he needed to do something drastic after a close loss late in the season.
“I lost 3-2 to somebody and I just wasn’t able to do much because he was 50 pounds bigger than me,” Reece said. “I didn’t want to get any bigger so I thought it was best if I lost weight, start eating healthier, and find a weight where I could have some success.”
It’s has definitely paid off for him so far. Reece is 34-6 overall, mainly at the 170-pound division, and 12-0 at 160, where he is slated to start in the upcoming Area 4-AAA traditional meet beginning on Friday at Elbert County.
But Reece admitted he was apprehensive going into his new surroundings, at school and at a new weight class.
“Honestly, I had no clue what to expect. There were a lot of new things going on,” he said. “Changing weight classes and coming to new school was tough. But after a few practices at 170 I knew I had some work to do.”
With the new physique has come a new attitude. But it took some adjustment on the mat at the same time.
“I am definitely more focused this year,” Reece said. “I want to prove to people that I can be good. It was tough at the upper weights. I feel more confident at the middle weights.
“But, the speed of the matches was something I had to get used too. Guys move a lot faster at 160 or 170 than at 285. Once I got used to that I think that’s when things started to turn around.”
Morkel agreed. And, he believes Reece has a chance to close out the season stronger than he started it.
“He came in here wanting to get better and he has really worked hard,” Morkel said. “But because he dropped so much weight, he was an unknown at his new weight. But I think that has worked to his advantage.
“I think he has a real shot at winning the area and the sectionals and getting to the state meet. You don’t like to put too much pressure on people but he is focused on that right now. We’ll see how it plays out.”
“That’s my goal,” Reece said. “I feel right now that 160 is my best weight. I feel quick and strong at that weight. The way things have gone this year, winning a state title would be the dream ending. Hopefully I can make that happen.”
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