Fort Campbell High School senior wrestler Ki Ryder signed a Letter of Intent Tuesday to compete in college at Wheeling Jesuit University at Wheeling, W.Va.
The NCAA Division II school is just beginning its wrestling program this year, and Ryder is excited to compete with a program that is just starting.
“I like the fact that they are a first-year program,” he said. “I want to be one of their first All-Americans. I also like the fact that the team actually does a lot of community service, and I want to be a part of that. Plus, they have the program that I want to do; I want to do physical therapy, and they have it all right there on the campus.”
Ryder plans to major in physical therapy at the university.
He is currently wrestling in the 170-pound weight class, but said he may lose some weight to compete in the 150- to 165-pound weight class in college.
“I’m kind of excited, but I’m really nervous right now,” he said of committing to WJU. He said that he also had collegiate offers from Virginia Tech, Virginia, Northern Illinois, Cumberland University and other colleges.
“I didn’t want the big schools, though. I wanted a smaller school,” he said. “WJU has a physical therapy program that is in the top 10 percent, so that was really attractive.”
Ryder’s coach at Fort Campbell, Anthony Shingler, was pleased for one of his wrestlers to commit to a college.
“I’m very proud of his accomplishments,” Shingler said. “This will be Year No. 4 that he’s been through the program. He’s a three-time state qualifier and has been to a lot of national tournaments and had that national exposure. With the national exposure, colleges come knocking, no matter what.
“I think Wheeling Jesuit is going to be a very nice school for him. The school itself is a great school, especially with this (physical therapy) program. The whole wrestling aspect is what drove him to it. The only advice I gave him was ‘Follow what you feel comfortable with. Don’t go where everybody else wants you to go. You have to be comfortable with it because that’s going to be where you’ll be for the next four years.’”
David Snow is the editor of The Eagle Post. Reach David at 270-887-3295 or dsnow@ theeaglepost.us.
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