PARKERSBURG - Three-time placer and Class AAA 138-pound state runner-up Skyler Terrell of Parkersburg High School has decided to continue his wrestling career for head coach Sean Doyle at Wheeling Jesuit University.
The Cardinals, who are starting their Division II mat team this year, ended up being Terrell's final choice after he thought about attending a couple of Pennsylvania programs and The Citadel.
"I kind of see it as an added bonus," Terrell said of going to a new program. "It gives me the opportunity to have more goals, to be their first All-American or first national champion or first team captain.
"I just kind of loved the atmosphere there and I wanted to wrestle for coach Doyle. He's a nice guy and has his stuff together. I'm going into biology, pre-medicine, and I want to be an anesthesiologist."
PHS head coach Chris Way said he thought Terrell likely would wrestle at 141 or 149 at WJU.
"As a first- year program, you recruit someone like Skyler because he's such a hard worker, and he's going to come in and set an example for the other guys in that program," Way said. "He will set the standard and is one of the guys you want in there as a leader.
"He'll set the tone and you need good leaders who are already established like Skyler. Being from PHS, we try to have a reputation of wrestling a good, hard aggressive style and I'm sure that's what coach Doyle is expecting from Skyler when he gets there."
Terrell, who was on the PHS wrestling team for four years and was also a three-year starter on the gridiron for the Big Reds, placed sixth in the state as a freshman, missed the state tournament as a 10th-grader because of a car wreck, was fourth as a junior and had to settle for runner-up honors after falling 12-5 this year in the finals to Ripley's Jake Martin.
"That will always be with me," Terrell said of not getting that state title. "Honestly, I didn't even know if I was going to wrestle in college, but not completing my go, I kind of feel like I need to go justify it.
"I knew I loved wrestling, but didn't really know if I would wrestle in college. Wrestling in college is more like a job. This year I decided I wanted to wrestle in college."
Terrell, a two-time champion in his weight class at the Brute Nationals, is hoping to earn All-American status at the Fargo Nationals.
"I'd really like to be a leader on the team my first year and hopefully be a multipl- time All-American," he said.
Terrell, who is the son of Andrea Ballengee and Shane Terrell, said he's anxious for college, but that "I'll definitely miss my coaches (at PHS) more than anything. I'm just going to really miss being a Big Red wrestler."