Racicot will continue grappling
HARRIS — Bark River-Harris’ Tyler Racicot made school history this week by becoming the first wrestler from the Broncos program to sign to wrestle at the collegiate level.
A ceremony was held Thursday afternoon at the Bark River-Harris school to commemorate the occasion.
Racicot — who capped off a successful season to round out his time at BR-H earlier this year at the state tournament — will join the Keiser University Seahawks program in West Palm Beach, Florida this coming school year.
“It feels amazing,” said Tyler Racicot. “I thought I was going to be done wrestling after my last match at States. But then, right at the end of baseball season, my dad (Joe Racicot, who is also the Broncos wrestling coach) gets a message asking to talk to me, and next thing you know, I’m here signing and going to school in Florida.”
Being the first from the program to wrestle at the college level is not lost on Racicot, though he believes there are more to come in the future.
“It feels good to be the first one,” he said. “I know there’s going to be a lot. We’ve got a lot of good kids coming up that are going to be going to school (too).”
When he was first contacted by Keiser coach Nick Soto, Racicot was still unsure of what his decision would be. That changed almost instantly.
“It was kind of like, ‘Will I? Will I not?’ Let’s go down and take a visit, see what it’s like,” he said. “Once we were down there, (I) just had to. It was an amazing campus, great programs and a great coach. I just had to go for it.”
In the classroom, Racicot will be pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice but what is most exciting to him is to continue the sport he loves.
“(I’m most excited) to be able to wrestle,” he said. “Just trying to get better, keep working and see how good I can be and see what I can do at the college level.”
The move to Florida also gives Racicot the chance to brag a bit about the weather to his siblings.
“I will rub it in to my brother and sister about not having to shovel snow,” he said.
He also thanked his family, coaches, teammates and friends for all of their support to help him become the athlete and young man he is today.
Tyler’s father, and Bark River-Harris wrestling coach, Joe Racicot shared his feelings from his dual relationship with his son.
“As a coach, it’s a great feeling of accomplishment,” said Joe Racicot who has helped grow the BR-H program in his four years with the team. “The last two seasons, bringing home district championships, last season bringing home the regional championship, competing in the state quarterfinals and having seven kids compete in the individual state finals, it has just shown the progression of this program. The icing on that cake, as a coach, is having our first-ever wrestler from this program being recruited actively by several colleges and ultimately Keiser University in Florida.
“As a dad, I couldn’t be more proud. It was shocking to get that e-mail from coach Soto. … At first, I thought it’d be more of a fishing for information type of e-mail — as a lot of them are — but when I responded to him, it took him ten minutes to call me, and he was telling me things about Tyler that I didn’t know. As a dad and as a coach, I’ve been watching Tyler since readiness kindergarten. So, it was pretty humbling and a really good feeling.”
Sharing the same excitement about the signing was Seahawks wrestling coach Nick Soto.
“We’re pretty excited about him,” Soto said. “I think he is exactly what we look for in recruits as far as coachability, grit, selfless leadership and stuff like that. From our first, early on, calls we could really kind of pick up that he’s a guy that’s not going to shy away from hard work, and he’s a guy that’s going to make the right decisions when nobody is in the room and stuff like that, too.”
Racicot, said Soto, is someone the young Seahawk program hopes to use as an example of what can be expected from Keiser.
“(Tyler) is going to be on that first wave of, ‘Hey, this is Seahawk nation wrestling,’ kind of thing,” he said.