Burrell's Derrick Beattie, right, and Kiski Area's Dakota Lange drop to the mat during their boutThursday, December 19, 2013, at Kiski Area High School
Away from football and wrestling competition for more than a year, Burrell senior Derrick Beattie developed a Zen-like mentality in order to deal with the frustration that accompanied his long recovery from the torn labrum and damaged rotator cuff in his left shoulder.
“I learned patience, fortitude and to just do things day by day,” said Beattie, who suffered the injury in August 2012. “You're going to have good days and bad days, but you just have to stay a good person, a nice person, and just take pride in what you do.”
Back to full strength and competing in sports for the first time since that unfortunate fall season, Beattie, a senior 160/170-pounder for the Bucs, is ready to unleash the energy and aspirations that accumulated while he stood to the side and waited.
“I know the whole process took a long time, but now that I'm back, it feels like it was in the blink of an eye,” he said. “The feeling now that I'm through all of that and out there competing, it's really something else.”
In order to put himself in the best position as a wrestler, Beattie chose to forgo football, the sport that initially caused his shoulder injury. The fact that the Bucs could have used him to fill the void at running back and linebacker left by 2013 graduate Cole Bush kept Beattie undecided on whether to skip football until about a week before training camp.
“I didn't want to make a quick decision, so I thought about it all summer,” Beattie said. “In wrestling, you can somewhat control a match — injuries happen, though. But in football, if I'm playing running back and middle linebacker, people are flying at me, and if I'm not ready for that, I'll get injured then.
“I just wasn't feeling 100 percent like myself at that time. I was feeling somewhere around 85 percent, 90 percent in terms of when there'd be contact with my shoulder. I was more worried about my health, because I want to be good after high school.”
He gets one season to convince colleges that he's a WPIAL championship-caliber wrestler. Beattie came close as a sophomore, when he went 34-15 and placed third in WPIAL Class AA as a 170-pounder.
Those around Beattie believe the senior retained his abilities during his recovery, which also included a brief setback this summer when Beattie suffered a minor tear of the LCL in his right knee.
“I think he's going to surprise a lot of people,” coach Josh Shields said.
“It's like he didn't even take a year off,” said senior 152-pounder Steven Edwards, who has been training with Beattie in the practice room.
The King of the Mountain Tournament Dec. 13-14 provided Beattie his first major test. Beattie won two matches — one by pin and another 8-4 — but ran into Cumberland Valley senior T.C. Warner, the No. 1 seed and a 2013 PIAA Class AAA finalist, in the quarterfinals. Warner won with a first-period pin, and Beattie finished one consolation-round win short of placing.
The Powerade Christmas Wrestling Tournament, which begins Friday at Canon-McMillan, is the next opportunity for Beattie to measure himself against many of the state's best.
“I've got to learn, and I've got to learn fast,” Beattie said. “I've got to shake off the rust.”
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our
Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent
via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.