Wrestlers look to continue with sport beyond high school

Lawrence Kreymer, Sports Editor

Over the past few years, the wrestling team has begun experiencing considerable success, with many of the athletes going on to leave a lasting impact on both the program and Stevenson. For many of these athletes, including Dylan Geick ’17 and Nikita Nepomnyakshchiy ’17, their careers aren’t just yet over, as they’ll be continuing with the sport they love at the collegiate level.

As is the norm each year, Stevenson has a vast number of athletes go off to college, but the wrestling program has been particularly noteworthy in having had athletes commit to wrestle for colleges on athletic scholarships. In deciding where they hope to attend, many factors end up in an athlete’s decision to commit to a college that will hopefully fit their academic and athletic needs.

“At the start I had to narrow down a list of the colleges I was looking at because I wanted something that had a good wrestling program but also gave me the best opportunity to learn and study,” Geick said. “I went on college visits and enjoyed the campuses I visited, but in the end I committed to Columbia because of the coaching staff and team members.”

The process for athletes starts much earlier than for other students. They start receiving college letters to try to influence their decision. The letters the athletes receive go to Stevenson and then those letters will be given to the wrestlers

“During the spring, I started to receive letters from various colleges, but I decided to wait and focus on my offseason training before making any decisions,” Geick said.

The wrestlers also have a lot of help from the school, and especially from the varsity wrestling coach Shane Cook. Cook has many connections with different colleges that help make the decision making process easier for the athletes.

There are also many tools that Stevenson in specific provides for the athletes, most prominent of which is Naviance, a site that helps students research details about any colleges they are considering.

“The college coaches and I do our best to help any athletes.” Cook said. “It’s an ongoing conversation with the wrestlers, their parents, university coaches and myself to help them make the best choice.”

The wrestling program will look to continue to build on its success after these players graduate. More wrestlers will come through Stevenson, and many of them will likely look to go off to college and wrestle, Cook said.

“Here at Stevenson we have several lower level sports that give students the opportunity to participate,” Cook said. “In the wrestling program if the athlete works hard and commits to the values of the program, they make the team.”