We have, over and over again, extolled the virtues of high school athletes playing multiple sports. We have patiently explained how much college football recruiters favor recruiting and signing multi-sport athletes to play college football and by a very large percentage we might add. We have been just as generous in our praise of Class of 2020, offensive center, Ethan Wolford from Belfry High School.
Wolford, both a KPGFootball and an Associated Press All-State Football player, is also a wrestler. As a matter of fact, the heavyweight is 33-8 on the year, finished fourth at the Regional Meet this weekend, has now qualified to compete for the State Championship, and pinned, in his first match this weekend, the #2 ranked heavyweight in the region and one ranked among the top 15 heavyweights in Kentucky.
Wolford has broken the record at Belfry High School for most wins by a heavyweight wrestler in just his second meet of his junior year and all 8 of his losses came to seniors graduating at the end of this year with 3 of the 8 losses coming to Byron Pierce (2X Heavyweight State Champion and odds-on favorite for his 3rd this year, who also plays along the interior OL for JCHS).
So how can we call a sport in which Wolford is the all-time wins leader at his school, a State Qualifier, set to be ranked number 1 in his region in 2020, and sitting at 62 career wins with a damn good chance of reaching 100 wins for his high school career his other sport? Maybe because, all of that aside, he’s still better at football.
That’s a mouthful isn’t it? Yeah, it is, and my apologies to the Wrestling Coach at Belfry High School who might well beg to differ. Don’t take our word for it, Indiana University just had Wolford down for “Junior Day,” Marshall’s Thundering Herd is stampeding in his direction too, and lots of schools have already offered the talented Junior who we believe to be the best offensive center in his class, certainly, and maybe the best in Kentucky in any class.
Wrestling has long been seen as tremendous skill development for people who also play football. Learning to use one’s hands violently and effectively, working and exploding from low to high, using leverage, the need to get under an opponent, are all directly football-related skill-sets particularly for those who ply there wares along the offensive or defensive fronts.
Of course, we at KPGFootball know we are a “football magazine” but we will continue to cover our guys outside of Fall as they play other sports which help define and hone their skills on the gridiron. We have Ethan Wolford ranked amongst our very top prospects in his class. We believe him to be among the top-ranked, interior offensive lineman in Kentucky High School Football. He has been selected to both our All-State team and the AP’s, and he is damn good at his other sport (Wrestling) too. In fact, it would appear he is beginning to dominate it similar to how he dominates along a line of scrimmage on a football field.
Reporting for KPGFootball, this is Fletcher Long, reminding all of you ballers out there to PLAY THROUGH THE WHISTLE.
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