Kiski Area’s Reid reflective after winning first WPIAL title

Monday, March 5, 2018 | 10:45 PM

Isaac Reid pointed both index fingers to the ceiling in Canon-McMillan's gym, then animatedly switched to a raise-the-roof motion after winning his first title in his final appearance at the WPIAL Class AAA championships.

A season that began with a major health scare — a pulmonary embolism in his lung that kept him out of Kiski Area's lineup until January — reached a crescendo for Reid on Saturday, with a 3-1 victory over West Mifflin's Gerald Brown in the 285-pound final.

Given what he went through, Reid was in a celebratory mood, but he also kept the win in perspective.

“Anything from this point was just icing on the cake,” Reid said. “If I would have got second, I still would have been grateful. I'm just thankful to be alive.”

Reid's first trip to WPIALs as a freshman ended when then-coach Chuck Tursky pulled Reid off the mat for a forfeit after he used inappropriate language.

The heavyweight matured over the following three years, and his battle with the pulmonary embolism led him to re-examine his faith. He spent much of his downtime at last weekend's WPIAL tournament reading from a Bible in which he marked favorite passages. He spoke after beating Brown of his thankfulness to God.

“I've learned so much more in this past year than any other year,” Reid said. “One of my favorite Bible quotes is, ‘Physical training is of some value, but training for godliness of all value, providing benefits in this life and life to come.' I really apply that to my life. I love to train and work out, but there's so much more.”

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

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