Fairbanks High School senior Billy Reed-Bodey (center) signs to continue his wrestling career with Otterbein University. He is pictured with from left, Fairbanks assistant coach Theo Crawford, cousin Peyton Shaner, father Brian Bodey, mother Roseanne Reed, grandmother Glenna Reed and Fairbanks head coach James Kasser. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
With a few strokes of a pen, one of the top wrestlers in Fairbanks High School history has decided his mat future.
FHS senior Billy Reed-Bodey signed to wrestle at Otterbein University during a ceremony on Monday.
Reed-Bodey picked the Westerville school out of a number of institutions that were on his radar.
“I really like the atmosphere and the campus,” he said. “It’s a good location – close enough to home but not too close.
“I also like the coaching staff.”
Reed-Bodey said he had looked at other schools such as Heidelberg, Lake Erie, Ashland and Wittenberg.
“Otterbein just seemed like the best fit,” he said.
The Panther senior will take impressive credentials when he arrives on campus.
Reed-Bodey put together a 46-2 record during the 2020-21 high school campaign.
He placed sixth in the state at heavyweight during the Division III tournament that was held at Marion Harding High School.
Reed-Bodey talked about his attributes as a grappler.
“I think I’m a pretty good wrestler from the technical aspect of the sport,” he said. “When I want to make a particular move, I do it.
“I think I wrestle smart and can do a lot to counter an opponent’s moves.”
Reed-Bodey said he could have some competition at the Cardinals’ heavyweight spot from another youngster.
“They have a heavyweight who was a freshman this past season,” he said. “I know I will have to work hard, but I think I’ll have a chance to start as a freshman next winter.”
Reed-Bodey, who was also a lineman for the Fairbanks High School football team, continues to maintain his physical conditioning.
He throws the shot put and discus for the FHS track and field squad and has maintained a stout weightlifting regimen.
“My coaches at Otterbein will soon be sending me a workout program they want me to go through this summer,” he said.
Panther head coach James Kasser had nothing but good things to say about his departing wrestler.
“I’ve coached a lot of kids in my career,” he said. “Billy is one of the most coachable with which I’ve ever worked.
“He has a passion for wrestling and sets high expectations for himself.”
The Panther coach also noted Reed-Bodey’s prowess in the classroom.
“Billy’s a very good student and brings a very mature outlook to every aspect of life,” he said. “I feel he will do very well at Otterbein.”
Reed-Bodey plans to study pre-med.
“I would eventually like to become an opthamologist,” he said.