If records are, indeed, “made to be broken,” Edward is an exception to the rule. In his five years of secondary school wrestling, he won every match but one. Nobody else in the long line of distinguished Peddie wrestlers has yet equaled that performance. It is highly unlikely that anybody else ever will.
Wrestling at 127 pounds throughout his senior year as team captain, he beat the Lawrenceville star, a former state champion, in the dual meet between the two archrivals. At tournament time, savvy wrestlers may drop down in weight to improve their individual chances. But Edward, to strengthen his team’s tournament lineup, moved up! Fueled by his love for legendary Peddie coach Robert “Senor” Tifft and his burning desire to win, Pitts pinned his first two opponents. In the finals - a match he was winning by a wide margin - he failed to get his 3rd pin by mere fractions of a second when time ran out with his opponent fighting desperately to avoid being pinned. What a way for Edward to end his Peddie wrestling career!
It may be difficult for people outside of wrestling to appreciate how much an individual athlete can contribute to his team’s success through his personal qualities. To that end, Bob Werner ‘53 says of Pitts, “Edward Pitts, our captain who led by example, was the first to appear at practice, the last to leave. He was as quick as a cat and master of the take-down.” As a matter of fact, in his entire senior season, Pitts never lost a take-down — an amazing accomplishment befitting the standout performer he was. Jack Barrett ‘52, also a teammate of Edward’s, speaks highly of him as a leader, both on the wrestling mat and off. This is borne out by Pitts’s roles as senior class vice president and Gold Key Society member.
Of Coach Tifft, Edward says, “He was a gentleman and yet a model to me in being both gentle and strong.” Following his mentor’s example, Pitts organized a youth wrestling league and coached in it for 9 years. How fitting it is that he now takes his place alongside the coach he reveres in the Peddie Sports Hall of Fame!