MILLEDGEVILLE — As one of the most decorated wrestlers to compete at Baldwin High School, recent graduate Willie Milner plans to take his career to the next level by attempting to walk on to the wrestling team at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C. in fall 2014.
Earning more than 100 career victories as a high school wrestler, Milner will attend team practices in the spring semester of 2014, with hopes of earning a spot on the N.C. State roster in the fall.
“I’ve been talking to the coach, and he’s basically going to let me come to the practices and check them out,” he said. He’s trying to find me a spot. I sent him my highlights and he loved them, so basically, he said to keep him posted on how I’m doing.”
Milner had several offers, but chose to pursue N.C. State because of the rich tradition the Wolfpack have in wrestling and the success the team has had due to first year head coach Pat Popolizio.
“It was basically all about the history that North Carolina State has,” Milner said. “It’s going to be a good program.”
In the meantime, Milner plans to focus on his studies as a freshman at Georgia Military College, as he is currently juggling a 13-hour class load with his training.
“This fall I’m going to focus on my academics, so I’m just trying to get all of my credit hours,” Milner said. “So, over the summer I’m going to go to GMC and basically go ahead and start my college experience off.”
The hard working Milner also hopes to gain a little bit of college wrestling experience by training with former Braves wrestler and teammate, Floyd Canty, who currently competes for Brewton-Parker College in Mt. Vernon.
“For the time being, I’m trying to work with Floyd. He’s wrestling at Brewton-Parker, and you know, it’s a great experience because his coach knows a lot of moves,” Milner said. “So, it teaches me to be more technical when I’m on the mat.”
After a successful season in which the former Brave qualified for the Georgia High School Association State Wrestling Championships, Milner now is excited to pursue his childhood dream of competing against the best wrestlers in the country at N.C. State next year.
“As a child, I always wanted to go to the top school of Division I,” he said. “I just wanted to go up against the top schools like Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and all of that. I just want to go against the top wrestlers to see where I stand.”