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Kolton Parsons to play football, wrestle for Falcons

Wirt County’s Kolton Parsons competes in the 2022 Class A state wrestling meet. (Photo by Jay W. Bennett)

ELIZABETH — Kolton Parsons is ready to take the next step as a student-athlete and the Wirt County Tiger made it official on Friday that he’ll compete at the next level in both wrestling and football for Fairmont State University.

Although he was recruited to wrestle for the Fighting Falcons of head coach Colin Johnson, the Tiger also is going to walk on for gridiron boss Jason Woodman at the Division II Mountain East Conference program.

Parsons was a four-year state placer for head coach Danny Life and finished his senior year with a 43-5 record after taking third place in the Class AA/A state tournament at 145 pounds.

The Tiger said he has been interested in FSU since he was a freshman and he started being recruited by coach Johnson about halfway through wrestling season.

“We kept talking through the year and about a week after states he reached out again and told me we could maybe work something out with the football coach and from there I kept talking and I got a call from coach Woodman,” said Parsons, who carries a near 4.0 cumulative GPA.

Parsons, who also had a solid year for orange and black boss Jason Hickman, said he sent his film to FSU and coach Woodman explained the walk-on process.

“I couldn’t be happier,” admitted Parsons, who scored 20 touchdowns, rushed for nearly 700 yards, had more than 500 yards receiving, was the Tigers’ top tackler (103 total stops) and also finished with four interceptions and a quartet of forced fumbles.

Along with being a four-year starter in wrestling and football, Parsons also has two letters in baseball. He said the only other program he considered was Glenville State.

“It’s going great,” Parsons said of his schooling. “I started my finals for my college history class for WVU-P this week. It’s kind of been stressful.”

The Tiger said he expects to compete on the mats at either 157 or 165, but noted “with football I got to get bigger. I’m a pretty tiny guy.”

Most likely, Parsons said he’s looking at becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).

“I’m looking forward to the experience in general,” he added.

“My sophomore year I really started putting in extra time and effort because I knew that’s when colleges would start to look at kids.

“I didn’t plan on wrestling in college because I felt like I liked football more, but I liked coach Johnson and the coaches up there and I like the school. I just decided why not. You can only do it one time and I might regret it if I didn’t.”

Parsons, who is the senior class representative as well as a member of the FFA, FCA and Mu Alpha Theta, said he graduates on May 22.

“The closer it comes, the closer I get to graduation, I start to miss it more,” admitted the Tiger. “But I’m ready for the new world. Get out and explore things on my own. I’m kind of nervous for a culture shock.”

Despite going to college and competing in two sports, Parsons thinks he’ll be OK.

“I’m going to be devoting a lot of my time to sports and schooling. I just got to make sure I stay focused,” he said. “I’ve been doing this my whole life, multiple sports and everything. If I just stay focused and don’t get too distracted, I think I should be fine.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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