LAKEWOOD RANCH — Mike Myers spent months debating whether he wanted to play football or wrestle in college.
But at the Class 2A state wrestling finals Feb. 19-20, the Lakewood Ranch senior finally reached a decision.
“The three years I wrestled in high school went by fast, and when I was at states and lost my second match, I felt like I wanted to continue wrestling,” he said.
On May 12, Myers signed a letter-of-intent to wrestle for Mercer University in Macon, Ga., becoming the first Mustang to receive a wrestling scholarship.
“It feels good finally knowing that I made a decision and I’m making history at Lakewood Ranch,” Myers said. “Everybody knows (what I’m capable of), so I just want to be able to live up to their expectations and have the (younger wrestlers) be able to look up to me.”
Myers wrestled his freshman year, took a break from the sport his sophomore year and returned to the team for his junior and senior seasons. This year, Myers finished with a record of 34-13 and was the lone Mustang to advance to the Class 2A state finals.
“I learned everything from (coach) Pat (Ancil),” Myers said. “All of my wrestling moves and techniques — they all came from those three years wrestling.”
Myers looked at a number of Division II and III schools when he was thinking about playing football and also thought about trying to walk on to the football team at the University of Central Florida.
Initially, Myers had planned to go to school in Florida. However, although Myers was accepted to UCF, the University of South Florida, Florida State and the State College of Florida, he realized if he was going to continue wrestling, then he needed to start looking outside the Sunshine State.
“I really wanted to stay in Florida, but you can’t wrestle in Florida because it’s all club,” Myers said.
Myers, who plans to major in business or pre-medicine, will attend the Ohio State University wrestling camp next month at Lakewood before heading up to Mercer University in August.
This fall, Myers, who wrestled in the 160-pound weight class this past winter, plans to wrestle at 174 with the hopes of making an impact as a freshman.
“The coach told me it’s going to be a long season,” Myers said. “He told me to get in the gym and lift weights, run and hit the mats once a week and make sure that I’m in shape.”
Contact Jen Blanco at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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