February 29, 2024

Deerfield senior Luke Reddy intends to skip his annual tour of the concourses on the State Farm Heart in Champaign subsequent month.

One of many top-ranked wrestlers within the 132-pound weight class in Class 2A, Reddy is already a two-time state qualifier. However he hasn’t earned a medal.

“The final two years at state, after I misplaced within the blood rounds, I walked round after my final match about an hour each instances,” he stated. “I used to be simply desirous about it and was extraordinarily upset. I used to be so near getting a medal and being on the rostrum. I simply walked across the circle, possibly 4 or 5 instances. I simply stored strolling.”

Each state journeys ended with the identical consequence however with differing ranges of frustration for Reddy, who misplaced a 9-8 choice to Rock Island’s Daniel McGhee within the quarterfinals of the wrestlebacks at 120 final 12 months and completed tied for eighth. Throughout his sophomore season, he completed eighth at 113.

“Final 12 months damage a lot as a result of I misplaced by one level,” he stated. “I got here so near beating him. … I used to be prepared. I received sectionals, which was a troublesome bracket. I ought to’ve positioned final 12 months. That basically drove me. One in all my membership coaches got here as much as me and instructed me to coach like a state champion.”

Deerfield coach Marc Pechter, who just lately earned his four-hundredth profession victory on the faculty, stated Reddy is a distinct wrestler this season.

“I observed he’s form of bought blinders on now,” Pechter stated. “He’s actually going after his objective. He’s at all times wished it, however now he needs it extra. That is his final likelihood. He’s working exhausting, going after the prize.”

Reddy (26-2) received match titles at Glenbrook South and Joliet Central, showcasing a steely dedication by recording 11 pins and 6 technical falls.

“His method is so good, and he’s robust — robust for his weight,” Pechter stated. “He’s a whole wrestler.”

Reddy, who bought began within the sport in seventh grade and just lately earned his one hundredth varsity win, stated he ramped up his coaching and conditioning earlier than the season.

“I bought about 25 to 30 matches within the preseason,” he stated. “I used to be capable of refine what I’m good at earlier than going into the season. I used to be already within the swing of issues early, reducing weight and wrestling in large matches, and I’ve simply stored the momentum from the offseason going.”

Reddy turned to his coaches at Constructed By Brunson Wrestling in Lake Forest to refocus and fine-tune his method.

Nikita Nepomnyashchiy, an assistant on the membership who wrestled for Stevenson and Illinois, stated Reddy’s mindset modified.

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“After the state match final 12 months, he confirmed as much as apply, and there was one thing completely different about him,” Nepomnyashchiy stated. “He went from a proficient man that reveals up and goes by way of the motions to a man who realized his potential, and it confirmed in his work ethic.

“Luke’s an amazing employee. He by no means wastes a minute of apply. He’s at all times searching for new methods to enhance himself.”

That has made Reddy a task mannequin for Deerfield’s youthful wrestlers, in response to Pechter.

“He’s modified his focus, doubling down on his work ethic and method,” Pechter stated.

Reddy is leaving nothing to likelihood in his quest to earn a state medal.

“I’ve stepped it up a stage from the years earlier than,” he stated. “That is my time to win, regardless of who the competitors is.”

Bobby Narang is a contract reporter for the Information-Solar.