Introducing a child to a new sport isn’t always easy.
For a parent, a number of scenarios can take place: The child can yell and scream, not participate or cry.
When current Northeastern freshman Cole Wilson stepped on the mat for the first time with the Dover Youth Wrestling Club, he chose the latter of the three.
But that didn’t last long. The words Cole muttered to his dad after that first wrestling practice foreshadowed the path he would take.
“(Cole) turned to me and said, ‘Dad, can we practice tomorrow?’” Dan Wilson, Cole's father, recalls.
Sure enough, he did.
And now, he's one of the bright spots on the Northeastern wrestling team. He's already ranked No. 19 in the state at his weight, as of Jan. 11. The Bobcats haven't been able to pull out a YAIAA dual meet victory so far this season, but Wilson has eclipsed 10 wins in the 113-pound weight class.
Wilson has poured in the hours starting in middle school, when he traveled out-of-state for various wrestling competitions. During that time, he faced sophomores and juniors across the region, which has made his transition into high school a breeze.
“Cole wrestled more matches in the last calendar year than any previous one,” his father said. “That resulted in more losses but he took them in stride, which was good preparation for (his) freshman year.”
His mental and physical toughness are top notch, but Cole Wilson also noted the team cohesion on the Bobcats playing an important role as well.
“Everyone is alike and we all have fun during practice,” he said. “There’s no tension between us whatsoever.”
Northeastern wrestling coach Tom Kessler coached Cole as he went through middle school. Kessler, who spent 21 seasons at the helm of York College’s program, knows what it takes for wrestlers to be successful, and he said the Bobcats' freshman fits the bill.
“I give a lot of credit to my assistant (Dan Wilson) as they travel everywhere for meets,” Kessler said. “To be successful in wrestling, you have to do the extra work and Cole is a perfect example of that.”
As a freshman, his high school career has just begun, but Wilson is making sure to enjoy the present.
“I know that I will get better as the year goes on so right now, I’m just going to take it all in," he said.