Burrell wrestler Ricky Feroce is ready to chase his dream in Canada
Tuesday, July 28, 2020 | 3:31 PM
Burrell wrestler Ricky Feroce is ready to chase a dream, and he is even more excited to do it in his home country.
This past weekend, Feroce, who was born in Canada, announced his commitment to Simon Fraser, a Division II school in Burnaby, British Columbia, to continue his athletic and academic career.
“Since I was a kid, kind of since wrestling in the youth leagues for Burrell, it’s been a dream,” Feroce said about having the opportunity to wrestle in college. “They try to put that in your head, like you want to be going to the next level. So it’s definitely something I’ve been thinking about.”
Feroce, who placed fifth at the PIAA tournament this past season, was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He moved to the United States with his family in the middle of kindergarten. Feroce is a Canadian citizen by virtue of his birth and has a permanent residency card in the United States.
Although he is heading back to Canada to pursue his dream, that wasn’t always the direction he thought he would end up going.
“I wasn’t too big on going to school for sports. I just wanted to focus solely on academics,” Feroce said. “But I’d say about a month ago, I changed my mind. I decided that I wanted to wrestle. I wasn’t ready to give it up yet. I’ve put too much work into it.”
Burrell coach Josh Shields endorsed Feroce’s change of heart.
“He wanted to do it, and he understands the benefit of wrestling,” Shields said. “He knows how it’s helped him get to this point in his life, and he sees the value of it moving forward. That’s what makes us a coaching staff happy, how much he values the sport by making the decision to wrestle at the next level.”
Not only is wrestling at Simon Fraser an intriguing opportunity for Feroce, but it also is an interesting school. The school is the only university in Canada that remains NCAA affiliated. The school competes in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, which includes schools such as Alaska, Concordia, Western Oregon, Seattle Pacific and Central Washington.
Simon Fraser’s wrestling team travels all over the continent taking on the top competition.Last year, faced Oregon State and also wrestled in Iowa, Montana, Oregon, California, Washington and Idaho and finished the year in Nebraska at the NCAA Super Regional.
“They are kind of like a travel team almost,” Feroce said. “I’m beyond excited at this point.”
Feroce’s Burrell career was special. He went from not wrestling on the varsity team as a freshman to producing a career record of 88-51. He went 39-16 as a senior and won his first section tournament.
“I’ll always use Ricky as an example when I’m talking to younger wrestlers,” Shields said. “Like, ‘Hey, here is a kid who didn’t even start his freshman year and was actually sent down to his junior high team, and he finished his career as a PIAA place winner and earned a scholarship to wrestle at the next level.’
“I’ll always look at him as a guy who did the right things, and I think his accomplishments will help a lot of wrestlers that are younger than him, that might not have the success right away.”
Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
More High School Sports• A-K Valley football players to watch in 2023 Week 5
• A-K Valley high school football matchups for 2023 Week 5
• The Birdie gets in the zone, makes Week 5 picks in A-K Valley football
• 2023 Western Pa. high school football schedule for Week 5
• The Birdie hands out 5-star reviews, makes Westmoreland County Week 5 picks