Nokomis junior gained experience with brothers, Naval Academy camp

NEWPORT — David Wilson describes his wrestling style as slow and methodical. Wilson is just as happy outlasting an opponent for three rounds as he is with a pin in the opening seconds of the match. In his semifinal match of the Warrior Clash on Saturday afternoon, Wilson thought maybe he was too methodical. A Nokomis junior, Wilson defeated Tyler Beam of Dexter, 5-2, but he was down 2-0 after two rounds. A cradle in the closing seconds of the match sealed the win.

“I don’t think I was wrestling that good. A little slow today,” Wilson said minutes after the match was over. “I feel like I picked up the pace a little bit. I was going too slow.”

Added Nokomis wrestling coach Scott Preble: “He has a lot of stamina.”

In the 160-pound finals Saturday, Wilson lost to Dawson Stevens of Oxford Hills, 11-6.

“He’s never beaten Dawson. We’ve been close, but we haven’t been able to get there. We’ve been within a point or two every match,” Preble said.

When the ultimate goal is a state title, slow and steady is the pace to set. Wilson doesn’t want to use all his energy in January, before the big meets in February. He’ll be patient, then strike. That patience came from wrestling matches at home against three older brothers, and time spent the last two summers at Navy Seal camp in Annapolis, Maryland.

Wilson had three older brothers — Rusty, John, and Chris — each wrestled for Nokomis. Being the youngest, Wilson often found himself as a human practice dummy for his brothers. Wilson said he learned a lot of wrestling technique from his brothers, and the experience made him tougher. Preble thinks growing up with older brothers who wrestled allowed Wilson to figure things out earlier and learn the pace of the sport.

“They’re all different. They’ve all wrestled different,” Preble said.

With a year and a half left in high school, Wilson is starting to think about his future. He’s interested in attending one of the service academies, and got a taste of the Naval Academy when he attended Seal camp. There was some wrestling, but most of the camp was geared to overall tests. Wilson went for early morning runs with Seals, and did situps in the bay. He loved it so much, he’s been twice.

“It’s tough. It makes wrestling look easy,” Wilson said.

It’s that same toughness, mental and physical, that attracts Wilson to wrestling. Down 2-0 to Beam for most of Saturday’s semifinal match, Wilson found another gear when he needed it.

“It’s a tough sport,” Wilson, who also pays football and lacrosse, said of wrestling. “You get a lot of people who know how to push themselves. Tough people.”

There are plenty of tough people standing between Wilson and the state title, Stevens included. Wilson placed fourth in the Class A state meet at 160-pounds last season.

“I think he can be a state champion, but he’s going to have to really get at it,” Preble said.

Wilson knows a state title will take hard work. He doesn’t shy away.

“I think I can win states,” Wilson said. “I want to win states.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

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Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM