Thursday, May 30, 2013
Long story told short, Newberry College is a perfect fit for Stratford senior wrestler Nicholas Young.
Young, who won the state title at 132 pounds this past season, is headed for the Div. II wrestling power after signing a letter of intent earlier this month. He chose the Wolves over Limestone and Coker.
“I think it’s going to be pretty exciting,” he said. “They have a rich history and I know a lot of the coaches and wrestlers that will be there. It’s not like I’m going to be lost.”
Another Lowcountry state champion this past winter will also be there in Hanahan’s Dennis Flores. Young said it was possible the two could be roommates.
He’s also very familiar with Newberry assistant Bryant Blanton, a former all-American at Summerville High School. Blanton and Cane Bay assistant Andrew Young were instrumental in helping to develop Young at Lowcountry Wrestling Academy the last two years.
Young said he expects to compete for spots at 133 or 141 pounds.
“My goal is to break the lineup and not have to redshirt,” Young said. “I feel like I have a better shot at one of those because they’re closer to my weight … anything can happen.”
Last season, the Wolves finished sixth in the Div. II national tournament. They routinely beat Div. I schools too.
“Newberry is a championship-caliber team,” Young said. “Every year, they’re always going for championships, whether its nationals or super regionals. Year in and year out they’re always doing something good.”
Young will graduate Saturday from SHS as one of the school’s top students. He finishes with a grade-point average just a shade below 4.00.
His early plans are to major in education, opening the door for him to coach in the future and give back to a sport that’s been so meaningful to him.
That stretches back to when he was six or seven. He said his brother David Carter started the fire for the sport.
“He used to wrestle with me and put me on my back when I was little,” Young said. “He was like ‘you need to wrestle.’ I stuck with it. He’s been really inspirational to me.”
Andrew Young, a former wrestler at Newberry, helped get Young to the next level after his sophomore year, Nicholas said.
“He was always helping me get better,” Young said. “He’s given me the mindset to keep getting better and reaching for a national championship.”
And at Newberry, he’ll get that shot.
Young ended his Stratford career as the leader in victories (166), breaking the record of 150 formerly held by 2004 graduate Caleb Capocciama.
His 51 wins as a senior surpassed the former season record of 46. He won his last 30 matches, including 20 by way of pin.