Sports

Rodolf exemplifies Bucs skill on the mat

Freddy Rodolf is a top competitor on the Bucs wrestling team. Rodolf wrestles in the 215-pound class and took eighth at state last year. - Kipp Robertson/ Staff photo
Freddy Rodolf is a top competitor on the Bucs wrestling team. Rodolf wrestles in the 215-pound class and took eighth at state last year.
— image credit: Kipp Robertson/ Staff photo

During the fall of his freshman year, Freddy Rodolf knew he would be a football player on the Kingston High School team. What was unknown to him during his freshman year was he would also be a wrestler, a wrestler that would help build the program into what it is today.

Though it took the entire football season to persuade him to join the wrestling team he is now happy he joined.

“Bobby made me,” Rodolf said of wrestling head coach Bobby Reece. “He said if I show up to wrestling practice, I would be hooked.”

Initial pressures quickly gave way to accomplishments. Now in his fourth year, Rodolf has travelled to the regional tournament four times and placed eighth at the state tournament last year in the Class 2A 215-pound division.

Standing at 6 feet 1 inch and wrestling in the 215-pound weight class, the senior at KHS progressively developed a wrestler’s mentality, Reece said. This mentality did not happen quickly and took about a year and a half to maintain.

During the program’s first season Reece said the lower weight class exceeded the skill of the heavy weights. As the wrestlers in the upper classes began gaining experience, the team has balanced out.

“Its tough when you’re going into a weight class against guys that have been doing this for years,” Rodolf said. “I got better by going to every single practice and getting my butt kicked during meets.”

The practice seemed to have paid off.

On the sidelines of the mat, Rodolf is mild-mannered and patient. Though he keeps his calm during a match, after donning his headgear, the wrestler becomes a formidable opponent. His power comes from a strong, lower-position that he tends to establish early, Reece said.

“Freddy has a unique ability to get through those tough situations, too,” he said.

Bainbridge Island wrestler Karl Hunt learned about Rodolf’s skill the hard way on Dec. 14.

Typically wrestling in the 185 weight class, Hunt was pushed up to the 215 class to keep from forfeiting a match, said Bainbridge head coach Dan Pippinger.

Though the attempt to reduce forfeits was justifiable — the team had three total that night — it did not end well for Hunt. In 2 minutes thirty seconds, Rodolf quickly took down the lighter wrestler, resulting in a pin according to the referee.

“Turns out it was a little bit much for him,” Pippinger said.

Rodolf is one of more than 10 wrestlers that also compete on the football team. When the program first began, Reece said Athletic Director Dan Novick stressed the importance of having students compete on more than one team. For the wrestling team this seems to pay off, because the students are in shape the day wrestling practice begins.

Between his school and sports schedule, Rodolf does not have much time for other activities besides homework. When he does find spare time, he, like everyone else he knows, likes to play Call of Duty: Black Ops. He admits he is no master of video games as his kill/death ratio is currently .56.

“It’s just something to do during down time,” Rodolf said.

After high school Rodolf does not plan on continuing to wrestle, but he said he would like to coach high school wrestling after he graduates college.

“I couldn’t imagine the team without him,” Reece said.

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