For Nevada Union senior Will Sumner, wrestling has been a lifelong commitment.
Sumner, now 18, has gone from a 2-year-old wearing a singlet and bouncing around an NU wrestling practice while his father, Gary Sumner, coached, to a two-time Sierra Foothill League champion, Sac-Joaquin Section Masters champion and one of the most feared prep wrestlers in the state.
Now with his prep career behind him, Will signed a National Letter of Intent Wednesday to attend and wrestle for Utah Valley University.
“They are a real up-and coming-program,” Will said. “They have brought in some really good coaches, and this year alone, they sent four wrestlers to the NCAAs.”
Will, who is recovering from knee surgery, said he should be healthy in a month and looks forward to getting started on his collegiate goals in June.
“I always keep my goals high,” he said. “But, I’m going to take it one step at a time. My first goal is to make varsity as a true freshman.”
Will’s father and coach, Gary, said he couldn’t be more proud of his son and that Utah Valley University is a good fit for Will.
“They (Utah Valley University) came to watch him at Masters where he had a great tournament,” Gary said. “They have one of the best coaching staffs in the United States and we’re really excited about that. And, when he went out there, he loved it.”
Will said he is very excited about his future but will miss being part of the NU wrestling team.
“I wouldn’t want to have been on any other team,” Will said. “NU’s team in general was a blast. It has such a mellow vibe here. Everyone is having fun and enjoying wrestling. I’m going to miss all the good times we have here.”
As Will looked back on his high school wrestling career highlights, of which there are many, his most fond memory was his SFL title as a freshman.
“When I won league as a freshman, I realized that I could do something special one day,” he said.
In his wrestling journey, Will said there are too many people to thank, but he wanted to express his appreciation for his parents, especially.
“Theres a lot of people I’d like to thank,” he said. “It would take up a book just to thank them all, but I’d definitely like to thank my mom and dad for always being there and always helping me out. I’ve had this great support system, so many people have come out to help me in countless ways.”
The scholarship Utah Valley University has committed will pay for Will’s tuition.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.