By Kevin Eickman
While it may seem like a no brainer whether to continue your athletic career past high school, it is not as simple as just enjoying a sport. Being a student athlete in college demands a great deal of effort and discipline. While most other students are enjoying their new found independence, those participating in athletics are raising their level of responsibility. This is just the case for recent Milford graduates Chase Taylor and Kenny VanVorst as they have decided to wrestle in college.
The college choice for VanVorst is Gardner-Webb University, who compete at the Division I level. While at Gardner-Webb, VanVorst will be studying Marketing, with an eye towards a career in business. One of the deciding factors for VanVorst was how at home he felt while visiting the campus.
“When I visited the campus I met the coach and he was really a nice guy. They have had a pretty successful program going now for about two years,” VanVorst said. “Hanging out with the wrestlers, it felt just like hanging out with the wrestlers here. So it was a good family connection.”
Looking back on his time at Milford, VanVrost will most definitely miss the time he spent between matches. “It’s the time you spent talking with your coach, talking to other wrestlers and just hanging out being friends really,” he stated. Knowing that there will be increased demands on his time, VanVrost knows that time management will be important “Making sure I keep good track of my time, making sure I’m going to class, going to practice and doing what the coach wants and eating healthy.” VanVrost said.
Taylor will be staying a bit closer to home, choosing to attend Wilkes University. While attending Wilkes, Taylor will be perusing a degree in Special Education, while also minoring in Physical Education, with an eye towards teaching in the future. When asked why he had chosen Wilkes, Taylor responded, “It’s not necessarily just the wrestling, it’s the education. When I went up there, I liked the way they talked about how much interaction we have with the teachers.”
Deciding to continue wrestling was a difficult one for Taylor, after a crushing early ousting in the Henlopen Championships, he was left with a lot of soul searching to do. Initially it was thought that Taylor might not wrestle at college. “Just getting away for a while,” Taylor stated. “I talked to coach Parsley and asked, ‘Do you never want to wrestle again?’ I thought about it and I didn’t (want to stop).”
Head coach Don Parsley will most assuredly miss the leadership that both wrestlers brought to the Buccaneer family as he will be presented a challenge in the upcoming season. “Certainly when you lose guys it’s tough, because, how do you replace them?,” Parsley said. “In all the years that I’ve coached, my greatest desires are trying in the moment to be the best we can me and to spur guys on so that they can to continue to be part of the wrestling community.”
Milford assistant coach Luke Pierson was along side Taylor and VanVorst for their entire time at Milford and believes they are ready for the next level. “I think they’re getting kids that are already prepared for being college athletes,” he said. “These kids wrestle 30, 40, 50 matches in the summer alone. They both put in time in the weight room. They kind of understand that when they go to college, it’s a year-round sport.”