Unseeded Rice Claims 285-pound National Championship

By: Meagan Schulz

Unseeded Rice claims 285-pound National Championship Submitted Photo

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The last time Norwich’s sophomore Tyler Rice stepped down from a podium, it wasn’t from the top step. Rice, who was a participant at the 2018 New York State Championships, didn’t return this February as he fell one win short of earning an at-large bid.

Extremely disappointed with how his season ended, the Tornado sophomore started his offseason the day after the Section IV Championships.

“I walked away from sectionals with doubts and regrets but I knew I had keep grinding,” said Rice. “That day, I went to the gym and since have started a lifting program with Jeff Newton, who pushes hard. and the continued support of my coaches.

His hard work and determination have now fueled him and it has already paid off as Rice recently became a National Champion.

Rice took the title at the National High School Coaches Association Nationals in Virginia Beach on April 2 with a 3-1 overtime victory over Jalen Stephens of Pennsylvania. Stephens attended the PA state tournament during the winter sports season and placed third.

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