For the young junior star at Old Mill, this 2010-2011 season isn’t really about growth or adding experience to his wrestling career.  He already has it.  This season is about settling unfinished business and capturing that elusive MPSSAA state crown.

While most wrestlers to take to their freshman year as a green competitor and fighting for a spot in the varsity lineup, Riddell opted to stick it out one more year in the junior league rankings of the Rebels, and used his ability to take a Maryland/Virginia state championship to prepare him for his first season of high school wrestling.

And true preparation it was, as the sophomore came into his first high school season to be a regional runner-up and make it all the way to the state finals where he just missed out on a 135-pound state title.

Now, a year later, Riddell is back on the path to a 2011 state wrestling title, and saw a good start to his journey with a 140-pound War on the Shore title.

Pinning his way to the finals, Riddell wasted no time on the mat before reaching fellow finalist Cody Broomall of Sussex Central, and pulled-out a  sudden death victory for his crown.

“I just wrestled everybody with the same intensity,” Riddell said of his pinning ways.  “I went out there thinning I could lose and all the matches, and I went out there and wrestled everybody the same.”

In one of the most exciting bouts of the night, Riddell used endurance and smart wrestling to keep even with Broomall through a scoreless overtime and double overtime periods, eventually riding his opponent out in sudden death for the 140-pound crown.

Early in the first period, Riddell fell to an 0-2 deficit, and, earning two staling calls and an escape in the second, was able to tie the match at 2-2.  But it wouldn’t take long before Broomall would take the lead with an escape only to see yet another stalling call tie it at 3-3 near the final buzzer.

“I was just working myself hard.  I was just going full intensity and pulled it out,” Riddell said.  “I kept working hard and did what I could to win.”

It is early in the 2010-2011 season, but the tastes of a third-place county finish, a 7-1 lead in the regional finals that resulted in his own fall and coming just short of a state title still linger in the now junior’s mouth, and his sights are set beyong all those dissapoinments.

“I want to be a state champion,” Riddell said.  “Last year, I lost that chance in the finals, but this year I am going to win it.”