By Will LeBlond
After watching a pair of Groton wrestling legends in front of him, Reese Lockwood is ready to make his own name with the Indians.
The junior is off to a roaring start during the 2017-18 season, with a 16-1 record and seven pins in his first 17 matches. He’s also added a pair of technical falls and, while his only loss came by way of a pin, he’s still allowed just six points entering 2018.
The 145-pound wrestler picked up a win by forfeit on December 20 in the Indians’ dual against Marathon, but it also doubled as a big milestone for Lockwood. With the forfeit, Lockwood earned his 100th career victory with Groton and he’s not taking it for granted.
“It means a lot,” said Lockwood on the milestone. “Especially because the record is 141 and I have the rest of this season and next season to get there. I really want to get that school record, and 100 is a big accomplishment along the way.”
The program record is held by his good friend Darren Ostrander, who is currently a junior with the Virginia Military Institute Keydets. While Lockwood had just one season on the varsity with Ostrander, when he was an eighth grader back during the 2014-15 campaign, he picked up plenty from him.
“He motivates me a lot,” said Lockwood on Ostrander and the record. “He won sectionals and I want to get as good as I can, and get to where he was and compete at the state tournament.”
After Ostrander left, there were still some familiar faces in the wrestling room with Lockwood, one of which was his older brother, Garrett. The older of the two has also found a home in the collegiate ranks; he is currently in his sophomore season grappling for the Lycoming Warriors in Pennsylvania.
The brothers had two seasons together on the Groton varsity, which included a pair of matchups against each other. Garrett got the best of Reese in both matchups, which were both by decision. Those two years of having his brother on the team were huge for Reese, and he still soaks up plenty of information from big brother.
“As an eighth grader, it was kind of hard, because I wasn’t as mature as the other guys,” said Lockwood. “I wasn’t that strong, but it really helped to drill with my brother and some older kids.
“Drilling with my brother those first two years really helped me a lot, because he was one of the best around,” he added. “He pushed me really hard and he still tries to push me every day.”
The younger Lockwood combined to go 53-14 in his first two years with the Indians, but then he really exploded during his sophomore season at 132 pounds. He went 31-6 and narrowly missed a spot in the state tournament in Albany. Now he’s dead set on not only getting to the state tournament this February in New York’s capital city, but writing down his own name in the history books at Groton.
“When I first started on varsity, I wasn’t really thinking about it,” said Lockwood on the school wins record. “I had a really good year as an eighth grader and a ninth grader, then I started to realize that 141 was in reach. It never really mattered that much, I just want to go out there and win every time.”
He has been improving at new weights in each of his years with the Indians. Now he wants to get to the next level at 145 pounds, and he’s confident that he can get it done.
“I think I just have to be more aggressive,” said Lockwood on how to get to the state tournament. “I want to improve on my feet and go after people and make sure my technique is good. I can see it happening this year and next year.”