Lock Haven 285 lber Isaac Reid (Photos courtesy of Lock Haven athletics)
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, adversity is defined as the state or instance of serious or continued difficulty or misfortune. Isaac Reid, a redshirt sophomore for Lock Haven University and 2022 NCAA Qualifier at HWT, is unfortunately no stranger to overcoming obstacles that have caused a difficult path in life.
When Reid was a junior in high school, adversity would strike for the first time. Reid stated, "My adversity started five years ago. During the Disney Duals in my junior year of high school, I dislocated my elbow. Our team made it to the finals and the team race came down to the heavyweights. I ended up pushing through and beating the #8 ranked guy in the country at the time. That moment is most notably the start to my injuries."
It was only one year later that Reid would experience his second bout of misfortune. During his senior year of high school, roughly halfway through the wrestling season, he began coughing up blood and enduring uncomfortable chest pains. After various doctor appointments and testing, Reid was diagnosed with pulmonary embolisms. Pulmonary embolisms are a medical condition that results in which one or more arteries in the lungs become blocked by a blood clot. Despite this diagnosis, Reid was cleared to wrestle only two months later, where he went on to post a perfect 23-0 senior season where he became the 2018 HWT PIAA State Champion.
Upon graduation, Reid was deciding between two schools, Lock Haven University and Pittsburgh. Reid stated, "I was ranked 5th in the country by FloWrestling and InterMat. I was highly talented as a recruit, but I was deciding between Lock Haven and Pittsburgh because they were both close to home." He continued, "Lock Haven's sports management program is ranked 2nd in the country, and it intrigued me as a recruit. I thought it was a good asset for me to expand my knowledge in, and it was a very high selling point for me. But ultimately, I really liked the atmosphere of the wrestling program. I knew that I would have coaches and teammates that would push me to be the best wrestler I could be. There was so much enthusiasm inside of the wrestling room and it made me excited about the program from the moment I stepped on campus."
When asked about Reid's recruiting process, Head Coach Scott Moore said, "Isaac originally reached out to me on messenger right when he was able to be recruited. We started following him during his junior year of high school, as far as his results in matches and tournaments. We were in constant communication with him through texting and calling, which helped to establish a strong relationship with him and his family early on. At one point, Ryan Wolfe (former Lock Haven heavyweight coach who is now at Rider University), went down to Young Guns and UPJ to work out with Isaac. In addition, Coach Carr and I did multiple home visits. Overall, it was a very in-depth and thorough process and we knew that he would be a great fit for Lock Haven.
Once Reid committed to Lock Haven University, his adversities continued. During his second year on the roster, once again, he was diagnosed with pulmonary embolisms and had blood clots in his lungs. Reid explained that this time around was a terrible experience. Over the course of the season, he was once again cleared to train, becoming bigger, better, faster, stronger, and improved his grades in the classroom as well. But wait… there's more. In his third year, during the PWC (Pittsburgh Wrestling Club) Rokfin event, Reid wrestled with a torn labrum and rotator cuff, as well as a torn LCL in his knee, but ultimately defeated Demetrius Thomas of Pitt 4-2. During the COVID shutdown and wrestling stoppages, he had surgery and rehabbed himself back strong enough to the point where he is now the heavyweight starter for the Lock Haven Eagles.
Reid's role on the Lock Haven wrestling team has changed over the years, but he has always maintained a strong presence regardless of his medical diagnosis'. "I'd like to say that my role on the wrestling team is a friend, student, advocate, and leader; I'm a mixture of several things. One of the big things that gathers attention from my teammates is my courage and ability to overcome all the obstacles that have plagued me. It has refined who I am and has helped to make me a better, more well-rounded person in the wrestling room and in the classroom. I like to believe that I am an inspiration to my team," said Reid.
Coach Moore went on to say, "His role is unique this year. He's been through so many different stages at Lock Haven. Initially as a freshman, he was a workout partner with Thomas Haines, who previously transferred from Ohio State. It's hard to come by guys of his size, and it was great to have a big guy in the room. Then his sophomore year, he had a blood clot and was not able to wrestle the whole season. During the COVID year, he wrestled in a few matches, but again, it was more of a training role because he had shoulder surgery. So, fast-forward to this year, it was a unique story because he was enrolled full time, but he was living at home. We kept in touch with him, but he had not been a rostered athlete until the first week of December. Through communication and conversations, it was the best fit that he finished out his career and degree at Lock Haven and was able to compete with us." He continued by stating, "His role now, he takes great pride in being a closer for us in our duals. Being a big guy with a lot of positive energy and implementing his knowledge on anyone who will listen pretty much. He has a lot of goals - financially and business-wise and things that are on his mind. He is unique in the fact that he thinks on a bigger scale than most guys. He wants to be the last match that wins it for his team. He is excited about being at Lock Haven and being around his teammates. He takes in a lot of knowledge and has a lot of lofty goals for himself."
When asked about his biggest accomplishments thus far in his wrestling career despite the challenges he has faced, Reid said, "I can advocate for a few things, but I think my life-long goal growing up was to be a state champion, and I achieved that, along with an undefeated senior season. As far as college, I am nationally ranked right now, which is awesome, but I still see myself climbing up the ladder, and that is where I believe most of my accolades in wrestling will come from." Reid described who he can attribute his success to by saying, "My success can be attributed to my family, coaches, teammates, but first and foremost my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who strengthens me. It was the Lord that has truly carried me through these trials and provided me with the faith that I needed to come out better than before. Through all of this, I have learned so many lessons."
When discussing Reid's accomplishments, Coach Moore mentioned, "Isaac is a guy that really thinks through the process. He has put the time in, and obviously, his size is a big advantage. He really thinks through everything. He is not sporadic when he wrestles. He is very controlled and calculated but has the ability to hit moves that other heavyweight wrestlers cannot hit because of his size and athletic ability. But like everyone else, he works hard, but his confidence is at an all-time high. Most kids talk about competing and they have doubts and negative thoughts, whereas one of his biggest attributes is his positive mindset and his willingness to take advice from others and listen to his coaches. He tries to motivate others through positive self-talk, and he ends up helping himself along the way."
Throughout Reid's trials, there were many people who influenced him and his ability to overcome and adapt to life's challenges. Reid stated, "Again, I would like to say Jesus Christ has influenced me, because I believe that I don't wrestle against flesh and blood, but the principalities of darkness - like the Bible states. I feel like my biggest wrestling matches have been mental and spiritual, and I give Jesus all the glory for that. As for earthly influences, the Strittmatter brothers (Jody and John), Isaac Greeley, Chuck Tursky, the Lock Haven coaching staff, my high school coaches, and my parents have all been role models in my life and helped me overcome so many adversities. I can't single out any one specific individual because they've all been so inspirational to me and have tremendously helped me in my career."
Coach Moore stated, "Isaac is appreciative of seeing what the other side looks like; of being in tough situations, having some medical conditions, and being in less fortunate situations; one's that have kept him from competing - even life-threatening would be accurate. He started to miss the sacrifice and struggle, and he realized that sacrifice was part of the process of figuring out who he is and who he wants to be, as well as what he is willing to give to see success in wrestling. Academically, he didn't have the highest grades and now he's a 3.25 student and working on getting a minor in business, and hopefully a master's next year. He has not only overcome a lot of adversity intellectually but physically. That perseverance allows him to be grateful for what he has, and it keeps him knowing that what he's been through, the future will never be that hard; at least in the meantime, he knows that he will be able to handle it."
Although Reid has faced countless adversities, his future is bright. Reid said, "Academically speaking, this is my fourth year, and I am finishing my bachelor's in sports management with a minor in business. I already have endeavors in real estate and investing. I think a lot of my future will be faith-based as well. I would like to evangelize. I have several social media accounts where I share some of my testimony. It's all my personal story, and my walk with the Lord. (@The Lion Chaser on Instagram) I also see great things in wrestling still to come, along with jujitsu and wrestling. There are many opportunities. It is a very broad horizon, and there are a lot of things that I'd like to get involved in."
Coach Moore said the following about why Isaac Reid is a special addition to the Lock Haven wrestling program. "He is a deep thinker, and he has so many things that he is achieving to be. Most of the time, heavyweights get labeled as big jocks, but he is a guy that has so many goals in real estate and business and wants to be successful in everything that he does. He thinks well beyond what most college kids think about. He doesn't party; he doesn't play video games, instead, he is thinking on a big scale. He is already trying to get above the curve and educate himself beyond. But he also done a lot with working with his hands, and he sees the value in internships and opportunities that will help him grow in all facets of his life. He thinks well beyond what a typically 22-year-old would think. He has a lot of interest in conversations with his coaches and professors and he is a different kind of smart that you don't typically see in college kids. Isaac Reid is a special guy who has added tremendously to our wrestling program at Lock Haven."
Reid is 26-4 going into the NCAA Wrestling Championships.