With graduation days away, Stillwater High School senior Paul Wilson wasn’t sure exactly where he was going to college. Wilson, a two-time state finalist on the wrestling mat, flew under most teams’ radar because he hadn’t been a part of a club wrestling team.
Wednesday, Wilson’s patience paid off as he signed a national letter of intent to wrestle at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo. next season.
“I’m ecstatic to be going to the Colorado School of Mines,” Wilson said. “It’s a huge opportunity for me. It’s a great school, and I love Colorado so the place couldn’t be any better for me. I love Oklahoma, but this is my chance to get out and see the world.”
Wilson became the second Pioneer senior wrestler to sign a letter of intent, after Travis Morgan signed with Appalachian State during the season. But for Stillwater High School coach Doug Chesbro, the timing couldn’t be more perfect.
“It was a little late coming in, but we’re very proud of him,” Chesbro said. “He didn’t have a whole lot of exposure on the national scene. Other than people locally, not a whole lot of other people had the opportunity to get to see him. But after a while his name kind of leaked out and I think there were some people who talked to people. Little by little people began throwing his name around. Eventually, word got around about this kid in Stillwater and he went out there for a visit and they asked if he wanted to be a part of their wrestling team.”
In high school, Wilson completed a 73-9 record on the way to 2012 OCA all-state honors. But it’s his hard work both in the classroom and outside it that Chesbro credits for the scholarship offer.
“The first thing I said when he told me was, ‘Congratulations, you got what you deserved,’” Chesbro said. “Paul is just one of those hard-working, well-grounded kids that everybody loves. He’s a good student. He’s a good athlete. He’s popular — I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say anything bad about him. For some kids, hard work does pay off, and I can’t think of a harder worker than Paul.
“I was pretty much asking if he had heard anything every day,” Chesbro said. “I was waiting just like he was. He had a couple of other offers, but I just wanted to know what he was going to do so I could crow a little about him.”