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ALL-AREA WRESTLING: Reck’s dedication paid off


Even before his senior season, Colonial Forge wrestler David Reck belonged on the short list of the Eagles’ all-time standouts.

Now he’s got the hardware to prove it.

Reck won the Group AAA 182-pound state title, capping his 56–1 season in fine style. He is The Free Lance–Star’s 2012 wrestler of the year, and undoubtedly has a place among the best of a long line of great Eagles.

Reck’s one loss this season came in the finals of the prestigious Beast of the East tournament to Ryan Wolfe, of Caravel Academy (Del.). Reck later beat Wolfe at the Eagles’ own USMC Ultimate Challenge.

Ten wrestlers have won 13 individual championships for Colonial Forge—including Reck’s older brother, Matt Reck, the 2007 215-pound state champion.

“He wouldn’t stop talking about his state title, and he’d make fun of me—‘You don’t have a state title.’” David Reck said. “So I had to get that. I had to win one.”

For David, this year’s victory almost seemed like a foregone conclusion—the culmination of years of dedication to the sport.

It started when he was very young—too young to even know what dedication was.

“He was never a kid that disliked wrestling,” said Mike Reck, his dad and oftentimes coach, chauffeur and motivator in those first years. “I think it’s because, being the younger kid, he wanted to hang out with the older kids. When we went to Highlanders [wrestling club], he was one of the youngest kids. I think he felt proud of himself.”

Wrestling was a full-time job. Weekday practices in Fairfax. One and sometimes two weekend tournaments.

“It’s been my life for as long as I could have played sports,” David Reck said. “Wrestling dominates most of my life.”

As a freshman, the experience he’d already gained paid off. He finished sixth in the state that year on his way to becoming one of only three Colonial Forge wrestlers to place in the state all four years of their high school careers.

From there, it was only a matter of time—lots of hard work, too, but mostly just waiting for David’s time to come.

“I knew how much work it would take,” David Reck said. “The hard part was just doing it, and being able to stay in that mindset. Working through the entire season was really hard, but I always knew I could do it.”

By the time he reached this year’s state tournament, it wasn’t even close: David was clearly the best in his 182-pound weight class. He won the state tournament with three first-period pins and a 19–7 major decision in the championship bout.

And his win was the crowning achievement for the Colonial Forge team, which easily won its fourth state team title.

“From the start of the year, that’s what we work for; that’s what we work for every year,” David Reck said. “We didn’t have it [the team title] for two years and it sucked. It’s a terrible feeling when you don’t win it and that’s your goal. Getting it this year was a big deal to me.”

David Reck will wrestle at the Air Force Academy next year. He said he thinks the regimented life of a military academy will suit him, given the structured way he’s lived his wrestling life the last four years.

And he’ll always have this season to remember, a year in which no one could question he was the best.

“The work ethic was never a question,” Mike Reck said. “He always worked hard for it.”

Justin Rice: 540/368-5045