The Blue Devil Level

Senior Sam Elliott received a scholarship to Duke University in order to pursue wrestling in college.

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The Blue Devil Level

Photo courtesy of Sam Elliott

Photo courtesy of Sam Elliott

Photo courtesy of Sam Elliott

Photo courtesy of Sam Elliott

Zac Johnson, Senior Entertainment Writer

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Senior Sam Elliott has wrestled varsity for BVNW since his freshman year, and Duke University awarded him a scholarship. He will attend Duke next fall to wrestle and pursue his academic goals.

“The funny thing about Duke is that their scholarships are all need-based, they don’t even give athletic scholarships,” Elliott said. “Their athletic scholarships are, ‘I’m going to get you in.’ They only accept 8 percent of applicants, so basically when I went and talked to the wrestling coach he told me that he would get me in and I would have access to all the stuff I needed to build my future.”

Elliott said he was recruited by many universities, but the recruiting process for wrestling varies greatly to that of other sports.

“Getting recruited in wrestling is way different than mainstream sports, in those the universities come to you,” Elliott said. “With wrestling they won’t, you have to send them film and really initiate things. I would write up emails to send that basically told them everything about my athletics, academics and extra circulars. Then I would send them off to head coaches, I would get responses and that’s how the process starts.”

The recruiting process between Duke and Elliott began with him sending an email; he was then called directly by the university a few hours later.

“When schools are recruiting you, they’ll email you, call you, send you stuff, but if they call you that’s when you know they’re serious about you.”

BVNW head varsity wrestling coach Tim Serbousek said that wrestling is a miserable sport and if Elliott can make it through the college wrestling environment, then the sky is the limit.

“I’m kind of the old fashioned type where I think he’s just going to have to learn it as he goes,” Serbousek said. “I think that’s good for him, surprises aren’t really good for him necessarily and he will have a lot of adversity to overcome, and the only way for him to do that is to subject himself to that environment.”

Elliott said he is not worried about performing this year and is going to do things as he always has. He said he will start preparing for the program at Duke after the season is over.

“This year I’m in four APs so I’m trying to build myself up to be ready when I go and not getting blindsided,” Elliott said. “Athletically I’ve just been doing what I normally do, going into the season I’m going to take it just as I always have; just do my best because that’s all I can expect of myself. This summer will be when I’ll really start kicking it into gear and getting in great shape so that I’m ready for their practices.”

Elliott said because he has already signed his national letter of intent and he is no longer planning for next year, the upcoming wrestling season should be stress free.

“I can really just focus on the season itself more so than things like where I will be going to school next year, which basically means I’ll be taking it just like any other season,” Elliott said.

Serbousek said that he sees Elliott taking this season one step at a time just as he always has, and take everything as it comes.

“He’ll always set his goal as high as possible,” Serbousek said. “Some kids always set their standards much lower than they’re probably capable of doing, and I would say [Elliott] is just the opposite.”