Scott signs letter to wrestle for Mount Olive

Courtesy photo
Heritage Hills’ Sam Scott signed his letter of intent Friday at his home to wrestle for the University of Mount Olive (N.C.). Joining Scott (center) for the signing are his father Michael and mother Rosie.

From local sources

Sam Scott of Heritage Hills has chosen to wrestle at the collegiate level, signing his letter of intent on Friday to compete for the University of Mount Olive (N.C.), a NCAA Division II program.

Scott wrestled as a Pocket Athletic Conference champion and semistate qualifier all four years at Heritage Hills. He also won three sectional championships, and made it to state as a senior with a 44-4 record.

“It feels amazing,” Scott said of his college choice. “It feels really, really good to be there, and it feels good to be successful coming out of my high school career. Just to be there is pretty awesome.”

Scott began wrestling by the time he was about 5 or 6 years old, and he’s dreamt of wrestling at the collegiate level ever since that point. He loves how individualized it is on the mat, and that there’s nobody else to blame, which makes the sport even better for him.

“Sam’s the ultimate competitor,” Heritage Hills wrestling coach Adam Zollman said. “The kid hates to lose. He’s one of those guys, even in a practice room. I outweigh him, I double his weight easily, and he’s going to fight me one way or the other. He’s that kid that he’s going to continue to battle and battle and battle, whether it’d be in practice, whether it’d be against the top-ranked kid in the state or whoever it’s going to be, you’re going to get his ultimate best every time he steps on the mat.”

Zollman first took notice of Scott when the latter was a sophomore. Zollman became head coach when Scott was a junior. He thought Scott needed to clean up his technique when he was a sophomore, but thought he was landing moves that were “college-level smooth” as an upperclassman.

He told of Scott wrestling at camps last summer, and one person he wrestled with was none other than Mount Olive assistant Luke Welch, who wrestled at Castle and later at Purdue University.

“He was a clinician at the camp, and I got to watch him and Sam wrestle with each other, and I’m like, ‘You know, he’s got something here,’” Zollman said.

Scott is the second Heritage Hills senior wrestler to sign a letter of intent with a Division II school this month. Phoenix Rodgers, who went to state with Scott this year, inked his letter of intent May 2 to wrestle at the University of Indianapolis.

Zollman is hoping those two signing to wrestle beyond high school are the start of something more.

“I hope we continue to have these conversations,” Zollman told The Herald on Sunday. “It’s amazing when kids start to understand that there’s opportunities at the next level — whether it’s JuCos, NAIAs, D3, D2, D1, if kids want to go to school, we can get them there.

“And academics comes first,” he continued. “The conversation I even had with UMO, the first thing is, ‘How are academics?’ We’re trying to get that across to a lot of our younger guys — the smarter you are, the harder you work in a classroom, the more money we can get you to go to school and get a free education.”

Scott intends to be a criminal justice major at Mount Olive. He thinks it’ll be a huge adjustment for him to go to school in a different part of the country, and that it will take time to get used to, but thinks it will all pay off in the end.

The plan is for him to wrestle in the 125-pound weight class. He still weighs about 120 pounds, which was the class he competed in his senior year. Putting on muscle is what he plans to focus on until he joins the team.

“I’ll probably be boosting a lot of my protein and working out a whole lot more,” Scott said.

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