Everyone stood on their feet as an overtime match between Steven Hernandez of Boise State and Josh Wilson of Utah Valley University commenced. Only fifteen seconds later, Wilson took down Hernandez to win the match and the crowd stayed on their feet to cheer and show their support for their fellow Wolverine.
This is not something new for Wilson, who has been wrestling for over 12 years.
Born in Morgan, Utah, Wilson has been wrestling since he was in the sixth grade, and Coach Greg Williams knows all about him.
“I’ve known about [Wilson] because I’ve coached him since the sixth grade,” Coach Williams said.
Wilson prepped at Morgan High School and posted a 41-3 record his senior season. He also brought with him a plethora of awards including as two-time State Champion, a three-time Region Champion, and a National Champion.
Wilson might have been tempted to feel overshadowed in 2010-2011 season after the success of Benjamin Kjar another senior. Instead, he is enjoying the increased opportunities and exposure the programs pioneers created.
“I wasn’t in his shadow,” Wilson states. “Ben opened the window for UVU wrestling. I’m just glad to be a part of it.”
Wilson ended the 2010-2011 season with a 20-10 overall record (7-2 duals), winning 13 of those matches by major decision.
Wilson is now ranked eighth in the nation in the InterMat rankings.
He has posted an overall record of 11-6 and 3-2 in dual matches on the season. The 149-pounder has won many of the open and invitational competitions he has participated in this year, including going 4-2 in the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational and placing fifth by topping three ranked competitors. Wilson then went on to place sixth in the Midlands Championships in Evanston, Ill. That marked the second straight national-caliber tournament in which Wilson placed in the top six.
Despite all the success that Wilson has been having this season, he does not let the hype get to him mentally.
“A month ago I wasn’t ranked,” Wilson said. “I worked my way up there by wrestling.” When asked if there is any added pressure because he is ranked eighth in the nation, he simply said, “No.”
Williams went on to explain the kind of character Wilson has always been.
“It’s not just about effort,” Williams said. “It’s about doing everything you can to be your best and Josh [Wilson] is one of those kids…[Wilson] expects a lot from himself. He has set a high bar. But he has a great work ethic.”
Wilson continues to be a fan favorite here at Utah Valley University. His InterMat ranking on top of his overall record is putting the school on the map. But Wilson still does not really give in to all of that. He is quick to turn the spotlight over to his team.
“I don’t feel like I’m in the spotlight,” Wilson said. “We’re all still young. We’re all still talented. We’ll continue to grow.”
Wilson has an opportunity to continue to grow with his team as they travel to Colorado Springs to take on Air Force this Thursday. They will then travel down to Laramie, Wyo. to take on the Wyoming Cowboys.
By Alex Rivera – Sports Writer