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St. Marys’ Wiley Houser signs to wrestle at Davis & Elkins

Photo by Jay W. Bennett St. Marys’ Wiley Houser reacts to a win at the state wrestling tournament earlier in his career. Thursday, Houser signed to continue his wrestling career at Davis & Elkins College.

ST. MARYS — Wiley Houser has carved out a reputation of being a leader in the St. Marys mat room, and now he’s signed his national letter of intent to wrestle at Davis and Elkins College. Houser said he’ll study education while attending school, as the decision to become a D&E Senator was an easy one after visiting the campus.

“I went down there, and they were super nice,” he said. “They had these big signs out that said, ‘Welcome, Wiley Houser. Future Senator.’ It was a really positive experience, and it was a better experience than any other school I toured. The coach (Jerry Boland) did all the talking to me, and we toured around the college. I really liked the atmosphere.”

Houser’s time at St. Marys has seen him grow not only physically, but as an athlete. Having amassed more than 100 career wins in three seasons and a runner-up finish at the state meet in his freshman year at 106 pounds. Houser led the way at 145 in 2019, and head coach Jay D. Smith talked about Houser’s ability to adapt and seize each opportunity he’s earned.

“He’s always been a kid who’s wanted to go compete at the next level, sine I had him as a freshman,” Smith said. “He’s been to camps and everything all over the country. He went up there for a college visit last year and told me it was a good fit. He’s a good young man, first and foremost. You can be a four-time state champion, but if you’re a jerk, that’s what people will remember about you. He’s a good young man. He works hard in all of his classes, and even though he’s in those harder classes, he has to work and put in the time in those college classes, so I can relate to that. When I was in college, I had to work to get a degree.”

This year’s group Blue Devil grapplers is headed up by a large number of upperclassmen, and Houser is confident in this year’s team. In preparation for an all-important final year, the standout has been traveling the country competing in tournaments in the preseason. Houser was able to navigate his way through those matches by being vigilant of the ongoing pandemic, as it hasn’t slowed him down a bit. Even if this season is a tad different, Houser is looking forward to leaving it all out on the line.

“It’s been a little tricky to find tournaments, but once we find them, we get down there and compete,” he said. “We do have good turnouts. (The 2020 season) is going to be a little different. We’re going to have some different matches, but for the most part, it’ll be a full season.”

Although Houser’s time at SMHS isn’t up yet, he wants to be remembered as a leader and as someone who always rose to the occasion when his number was called.

“I want them to remember me as a leader and a dedicated athlete,” he said. “I want them to think nothing but good things. Even outside of wrestling, I want to be seen as a good person.”

Contact Josh Hughes at jhughes@newsandsentinel.com

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