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BEYOND THE GAME WITH COLLIN STEWART

 

South Mecklenburg High School wrestler Collin Stewart has climbed the wrestling ladder all the way to the top.  The son of Doug and Michelle Stewart is one of the best wrestlers in the area and an even better student.  Collin is an extremely hard working Student-athlete and leader for the Sabres. He holds both the season and the all-time wins record for South Meck and is ranked as the # 1 wrestler for his class in the state.  Let’s Go Beyond The Game to learn more about Collin.

 

 

 

How long have you been wrestling and what led you to start the sport?

“I started wrestling my freshman year at South Meck, so a little over 3 years. I did competitive gymnastics up until my 8th grade year and was looking for something to do that my strength, balance, and flexibility was going to be a benefit. I went to South’s freshman night and met the wrestling coaches. It just took off from there.”

 

What are your top athletic accomplishments?

“Winning state championships in gymnastics is up there, as is competing in the Gymnastics Junior Nationals. But I think working my way up from a freshman who never wrestled and had a losing record to the #1 ranking this year in the state is what I am most proud of. It took a lot of hard work to get there and then to top that off with the opportunity to sign a division 1 letter of intent with Campbell – it’s all been such a great journey so far.”

What is your favorite sports memory?

“There isn’t just one, but I would have to say winning two team conference championships at South in my four years there and competing in the summer with my teammates at Darkhorse Wrestling (my club). The Darkhorse teams travel all over and wrestle the best kids in the country. Between the coaches and the wrestlers they are such a great group of guys. I also go the opportunity to captain the dual teams this past summer – it was such an honor since every kid on that team was such a great wrestler in their own right. If you look at the state rankings, just about every one of them is listed there.”

Is it a struggle to stay at your weight, how do you do it?

“It was more so last year when I wrestled 113 pounds. This year the first cut down to 120 was hard, but it just takes a lot of discipline to stay at or around your weight. Its more about what you eat and when than anything else. I never let myself get too heavy at any point. A lot of guys really let their weight go up and down, I think that makes it so much harder to manage.”

 How well do you perform in the classroom? 

“I do pretty well. Last semester I had a 4.6 and my cumulative is 4.4 or so. I make sure to focus on honors and AP classes when I can. But during the season its tough because it’s such a physical and mental grind. Sometimes it’s a little hard to concentrate when you’re cutting weight but I just have to push through it.  I am in the National Honor Society and really enjoy my Honors Leadership and Learning class since you get to help other kids through tutoring.”

What is your favorite subject?

“Honors Leadership and Learning – I just really like giving back and helping other kids. Tutoring the kids in that class is really fun and rewarding. Its similar to coaching the younger wrestlers at Darkhorse. You see them improve each and every day and you know that you are a part of that.”

Why is academic success so important to you?

“I’m not going to wrestle forever. It’s not the type of sport where you can make millions of dollars. Only a very few people are able to do that. So academics are important as a foundation for my future. I’ll definitely have a chance to wrestle at Campbell but it’s really about getting my degree and setting myself up to be successful in the future.”

 

“I committed to Campbell in November. I thought it was important to sign early and let them know I was committed to Coach Kolat and what he is trying to build there. I get one more summer competing with the Darkhorse Wrestling teams before I have to report to school. I am really looking forward to competing with them at National Duals, Disney Duals, etc.. After that it’s school and wrestling. Pretty much the same as it’s been over the last 3 1/2 years for me.”