Wrestling: Former state champion picks college destination

Leaving his favorite sport behind was much more difficult than 2011 South Kitsap graduate Terrill Wilson anticipated.

Wilson, who won a Class 4A state championship last year in the 119-pound weight class, won’t have to worry about that any longer as he signed to compete at Missouri Baptist College.

After finishing with a 31-5 record as a senior, Wilson said he planned to leave the sport and work at Naval Base Kitsap. But he said that never materialized and he ended up at the Port Orchard Wal-Mart.

Despite that, Wilson said he does not regret his decision to step away.

“I needed a break,” he said. “I graduated when I was 17 years old. I didn’t feel like I was ready.”

Wilson never fully moved away from the sport. In addition to competing in freestyle and folkstyle wrestling, he also coached and refereed youths.

During that time, Wilson said he created an Internet recruiting profile for himself.

He was contacted by Missouri Baptist, which placed in the top 10 for the first time in program history in early March at the NAIA Championships, about enrolling at the university.

“I told them I was still wrestling and working out every day,” said Wilson, who expects to compete at 133 pounds.

Wilson, who moved in 2008 to Port Orchard when his parents decided to retire here, said he felt comfortable at Missouri Baptist because he grew up in the Midwest. He attended the Sumner Academy of Arts and Science in Kansas City, Kan., as a freshman. Wilson said he still has several family members of live in that region.

He plans to leave the area in May to establish residency in Missouri. Wilson’s immediate goal is to win a championship.

But he hopes his future in the sport extends beyond that. Wilson plans to major in elementary education and coach wrestling after his playing days end.

“I had a pretty positive school experience and I want to make a difference in the kids coming up,” he said. “I’ve always enjoyed teaching kids.”

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