By Stephanie Dolan
This year, Nick Wilson will be a senior at Center Grove High School. He will be captain of the cross-country track team, as well as a starter on the soccer team. This summer, he competed in the Junior Olympics in Sacramento, CA, running cross-country.
Wilson is Center Grove ICON’s Athlete of the Month.
“Nick is a very driven young man who always will do all he can to out-work his competitor,” soccer coach Jameson McLaughlin said. “He is unselfish and has always been willing to play anywhere on the field to help the team.”
“I’m probably a better runner, but I probably enjoy soccer more,” Wilson, 17, said.
Wilson has been playing soccer since he was 5.
This past season he scored one goal and eight assists.
“I’m looking to play more of an offensive position this year so I’m hoping those stats will go up,” he said.
“Nick for three years now has played a full season of soccer with us while also running for the cross-country team in the same season,” McLaughlin said.
“I have coached Nick in both cross-country and in track,” cross-country and assistant track coach Howard Harrell said. “He’s like the Energizer Bunny. He has so much energy. He frequently practices two times a day – cross-country in the morning and soccer in the evening. He puts so much time and energy into both sports.”
Both cross-country and soccer are a part of the fall season. Soccer games are frequently on Tuesdays and Thursdays while cross-country meets are on Saturdays.
This past cross-country season, Wilson placed 11th at county and fourth at regionals with a 5K time of 16 minutes, 11 seconds.
One might think that that the team atmosphere is quite different between soccer and cross-country.
“Definitely in races it’s a lot more individual,” Wilson said. “But we have a really good team culture for a cross-country team, and I get as much out of that as I do soccer.”
“He is friends to and friendly with a wide range of people,” Harrell said. “He frequently talks to and gives advice to the new kids on the team. He warms up with JV runners as he talks to and helps them out, but as soon as the practice begins, he moves right on up to the front of the pack and pushes the pace.”
Wilson said that he believes all this hard work has built him into who he is today.
“I’m just trying to be the best that I can,” he said.
And that sentiment is evident in his interaction with the younger players on the team. What would he tell younger teammates who are working at improving their game?
“Keep with it and keep pushing to be your best,” Wilson said. “Don’t be afraid to talk to older players or runners. When I was a freshman, I was always in the seniors’ faces trying to figure out what I should be doing to get to their level.”
And pushing to be his best isn’t something Wilson keeps to the track or the soccer field.
“While doing both sports along with soccer and track in the spring Nick also carries a 4.0-plus GPA,” McLaughlin said.
THE WILSON FILE
NAME: Nick Wilson
SPORT: Cross-country and soccer
POSITION: For soccer, left back or left mid
HEIGHT: 5 feet 9 inches
HOBBIES/INTERESTS: Playing sports and spending time with friends
FAVORITE MOVIE: Godfather
FAVORITE TV SHOW: How I Met Your Mother
COLLEGE PLANS: Plans to study architecture or civil engineering. Is considering the University of Cincinnati, the University of Louisville or Trine University.
PARENTS: Michael and Jane Wilson