Wrestling division 1 is such an accomplishment in itself, wrestling division 1 for a prestigious school as Iowa St exemplifies the hard work, determination and drive that student athletes exhibit in order to be apart of a select group of people to have earned the privilege of wearing that red and yellow Cyclones singlet.
Arguably two of the greatest collegiate wrestlers ever, Dan Gable and Cael Sanderson, are apart of that elusive fraternity. Both Gable and Sanderson made their names known throughout the wrestling world competing for Iowa St. Many other big names wrestlers have come up through the ranks for the Cyclones and now it's time to add a New Yorker to that list.
For Easport South Manor senior Zachary Redding, the decision to head west to Ames, Iowa in the summer of 2020 was an easy one. During his trip to Ames, Redding knew right away with how welcoming the entire wrestling team was that he belonged in Cyclone country. Current Cyclone Freshman Aden Reeves laid host and showed Zach around campus, toured all of the facilities and even attended ISU's home opener football game against Northern Iowa.
The Cyclone roster consist of mostly wrestlers from Iowa and other neighboring mid western states and adding a hammer from New York will only provide even more depth to an already solid group.
Redding (Back) controlling Eric Barnett (Front)
Redding anticipates that he will compete at 133lbs as a freshman for the Cyclones. The recruitment to Iowa St. came as no shocker to many as Zach spent the entire off-season wrestling around the country and taking down some of the top rated recruits in the meantime. Over the summer, Redding earned ADIDAS High School National Wrestler of the Week. At the NHSCA Duals, Zach would defeat three wrestlers ranked in the top 10 nationally...in one weekend! Two of the biggest wins came over Wisconsin commit and #1 ranked Kyle Burwick 4-0 and 2x Fargo Champion Eric Barnett, who is also attending Wisconsin and ranked #2 by Flo, 6-5.
One final season looms for the Suffolk County Standout. Currently Zach holds a 200-26 career record heading into his final season for the ESM Sharks. Beyond all of the career accolades and accomplishments there is still another goal in mind.
"The ultimate goal is another state title and I would like to finish undefeated this season as well." Redding said.
The rugged competition throughout Section 11 and New York State that Zach faces each season has prepared him for one final run before he heads off to Iowa St. Eastport South Manor Head Coach Nick Garone has nothing but high praises for the senior Shark.
Garone said, "Zach is a great kid and an extremely hard worker and has developed into what I believe one of the best wrestlers in the country over the past few years. If he stays focused and continues to work hard, I feel he will make the transition into a great college wrestler."
Although individual goals are admirable, Zach's team mindset is what separates him from most other wrestlers. Doing what's best for the team is setting a great example for younger wrestlers who are coming up through the program. With wrestling, it may require a self sacrifice resulting in wrestling a weight you don't normally compete at, for the best of the team.
"If I tell Zach this is who you are wrestling or we need you to move up a weight to wrestle a better kid, he's always all in and goes out and beats them." Garone added.
No matter the wrestler nor the weight, Redding maintains a mental focus and drive that allows him to compete with not only the best wrestlers in the state but even the country. This holds true as back in 2018 the then ESM sophomore Redding found himself in a conundrum. The goal was to be a state champion after finishing third the year previous as a freshman however Rocky Point's Anthony Sciotto presented a stiff blockade in Redding's state championship admiration.
In the Suffolk County Finals, Redding's bid for a Section 11 championship was halted by Sciotto 6-2. For the second straight season Zach earned an at-large bid into the state tournament.
After three straight victories over formidable adversaries, the collision course rematch with Sciotto was set and this time in the New York State Finals in front of thousands and thousands of fans.
According to Coach Garone, Redding's mental focus and willingness to adapt proved vital against Sciotto this time around. "Zach was able to make adjustments, put a plan together and execute."
A 9-6 win put Redding atop of the pinnacle of NYS wrestling, a state championship. The win launched Zach into a feared competitor for opposing wrestlers and a household name for fans across the entire state.
On top of his state championship season in 2018, Zach has finished third in NYS twice (2017 @ 106lbs, 2019 @ 126lbs), 4x Section 11 place finisher (1-2-2-5), 3x Eastern States PF (3-5-1) and a 4x NHSCA Finalist (winning twice)
From a New York standpoint, we all know the hard working, dedicated and phenomenal wrestler that is Zachary Redding. Now it's time for the future Iowa St. Cyclone to show the mid west how great one of New York's best actually is.