Catching Up with a BHS Warrior Wrestler
by Cate Murway
Richard [meaning ‘powerful; strong ruler’] James Patterson, Jr., BHS ‘17 is a hard young man to “pin” down but his wrestling season has culminated. He had a few moments to chat.
Ricky Patterson has posted some incredible statistics while at Bristol HS:
2014-2015: District 2nd
2015-2016: District 1st
“This was my hardest match- Districts my junior year. I wanted it a little more and that is why I finished first place.” He pulled off his first district championship in an overtime contest in the 126# class with a 10-8 win at Oxford Area H.S. in February 2016. His personal Varsity wins total 61- 22.
As the wrestling team tri- captain, along with Austin Knox and Shaun O’Brien, he led the BHS Warriors’ team to an 8-12 record for the 2016-2017 season.
Rick’s parents are Shirley Ann [Greenlee] and Richard James Patterson, Sr., BHS ’94. He has an older sister, Cassie Ann Tolle. His father grew up in the Borough on Washington Street and he was a three season BHS athlete, participating in baseball, football and basketball but he had never wrestled. He coached Bristol Little League and started Ricky playing some t-ball and football at the Snyder-Girotti Elementary School. Ricky “messed around with the violin in grade school” and “went through a skate board/ scooter faze”, spending much time at the Barking Spyder on Mill Street, but when he started wrestling in the 7th grade, he focused on success on the mat.
Athlete by nature. Wrestler by choice.
Coincidentally, Rick shares a birthday with Paul Michael Levesque, better known by his ring name ‘Triple H’ [an abbreviation of his original WWE ring name Hunter Hearst Helmsley], an American business executive and professional wrestler.
Rick’s wrestling coach, Scott Edward Brown who has an engineering degree from Drexel and a Masters in Education shared that “Rick’s style of wrestling is different. It is quick and tumbling. He is a good scrambler and he helped everyone succeed. He is a very talented, gifted, smart young man.”
Mutual respect is obvious.
Rick shared that his wrestling coach/physics teacher, Coach Brown has been his most impactful influence while at Bristol High. “I had a lazy attitude and did the bare minimum. Coach told me to practice how I would like to wrestle. I changed my mind set in how I looked at wrestling and how I looked at life and changed my attitude. He told me ‘whatever you put in something is what you’ll get out’. He helped me on the mat and in school.” Mental preparation is crucial.
Practices in the fall, intense pre-season workouts with the team included track work, “conventional but with no equipment” and lifting time in the weight room.
Rick attended USA Olympian, Ken Chertow’s Gold Medal Training Camp at the Penn State Ramada Inn Convention Center. He was presented with the necessary techniques, skills and philosophies that it takes to excel in both wrestling and life.
“ We had 3-a-day practices in July for a solid week. It was very tough. But the food was actually very good.” This was a great team bonding experience since a dozen athletes from Bristol participated.
He has generously shared his talents, helping to coach wrestling practices at the Middle School.
Rick is enrolled in AP U.S. History and AP Chemistry his senior year for college credits.
“I am very interested in Science”. He is the VP of the Chem Club. A Chemistry poster contest was offered by the American Chemical Society [ACS] and he and his group studied iron concentrations in the “Bristol Baths”. Bristol was first famous as a resort, a "watering place" called the Bath Springs. Wealthy and distinguished people traveled by boat and stagecoach to enjoy these mineral springs and the fine accommodations. The group studied water samples with equipment loaned to them and earned the 1st place prize.
Rick’s father works at BSAF Chemical Corporation, creating chemistry for a sustainable future while combining economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility.
As an involved student athlete, he is a BHS Interact Club volunteer and he has helped Raising the Bar chairperson, Bill Pezza by setting up and breaking down after functions at the Centre for the Arts [CFA]. He also helped clear the school courtyard and build the greenhouse glass enclosures for the Bristol High School Garden Club, under the guidance of Social Studies teacher, Doug Braun, science teacher Bobby Moyer and ninth-grade teacher Maria Doherty. They have built one of the area’s most impressive gardens.
The summer prior to his Junior year, he had the incredible opportunity of hands-on experience to learn about business, teamwork, leadership, and other career and life skills when he participated in the one-of-a-kind summer program, Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week at Lycoming College, located in Williamsport, PA. He and his team developed their own marketing strategies for their sunglasses business, SOYO [Sun Glasses of Your Own], earning the highest return on their assets. Rick was on the financial team!
His original interest was in enlisting in the Marines after graduation [paternal grandfather, Richard James Patterson is a veteran], but the BHS Science Department Chair, Dr. William Smith, a U.S Army Major [Retired] veteran, awarded The Philadelphia Section of the American Chemical Society Award for Outstanding Teaching of High School Chemistry in 2014, suggested that he seek out and speak with other recruiters. He followed Dr. Smith’s advice and sought out other options, making the decision to join the United States Air Force Combat Control Team as a technician. As a Combat Controller trainee, the first course he will attend after the 8.5-week Basic Military Training is the two-week-long Combat Control Selection Course at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. The selection course focuses on sports physiology, nutrition, basic exercises, combat control history and fundamentals.
Rick exudes humility while taking pride in his abilities.
He has dedicated countless hours to the technical, tactical, and strength/conditioning aspects of his sport, keeping it a safe and positive experience.
Rick is looking forward to Spring and being able to walk to school and he is hoping to participate in Relay for Life. Last year, his “Striking Out Cancer” team with their “scoreboard banner” raised the most money for the cause. He has already achieved Honor Roll status but his aspiration is to earn Distinguished Honors. He exhibited calm, poise and balance while verbally expressing his goal to leave no unfinished business academically. He admitted that “I have never been a big study kind of guy. My parents would love for me to accomplish distinguished honors. My goal is to leave High School with the highest grades I have ever gotten. I plan on studying more, participating in class more and taking all my classes more seriously. My goal is to attack that!”
Well said. Victory comes from doing your best.
Will it be easy? Nope. Will it be worth it? Absolutely!
His current plans include more networking and making as many connections as possible. One more additional goal is “to get my motorcycle license before entering the military”.
Does your mom know about that?
He smiled, “My mom HAS a motorcycle license.”
Rick has enjoyed his time in High School. “I like that Bristol is a small town and I know everyone in the school. It’s a small quaint town that you can enjoy and walk around in.”
But he still can’t be pinned down! He is ready and prepared to wrestle new horizons.
Recommend a “Children Are Our Future Spotlight”. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org