Thomas Tyson — Wrestler
Thomas Tyson finished his 15-year wrestling career in March as a Skipper. The 2018 Capac High School grad followed his coach, Jason Klink, to SC4, where he was able to compete for a couple more years.
"Wrestling was definitely hard to stay committed to for that long. I played football and baseball in high school too, and football is a hard sport, but it's not quite as mentally and physically tough as wrestling when you're trying to practice and cut weight all the time," Tyson said.
He credits his teammates and coaches for helping him stay committed throughout his entire career.
"I had good teammates and we were constantly pushing each other," he said. "On the days you didn't want to practice teammates helped carry you through, and then the next day when they didn't want to be there, you could do the same for them."
He said the friendships he formed with his teammates are some that will last a lifetime, as well as the memories they made throughout their seasons. His favorite part about wrestling as a Skipper was the travel and the time he spent with his friends.
"I liked the travel. In high school you don't get to do all that stuff, you might travel like an hour or two away," he said. "But in college you get to be with a group of guys you don't know you and build a strong bond with them through all the traveling we did, like to New York or Chicago."
The determination and discipline Tyson showed in his sport translates to his academics as well. He graduated from SC4's Criminal Justice Program this spring and is moving on to Eastern Kentucky University in the fall to further his education. He said while the school doesn't have a collegiate wrestling program, he hopes to stay involved in the sport
"I'm going to try to help coach a high school team and ref," he said. "I just want to stay involved in athletics because it's a huge part of my life."
Tyson will be studying Homeland Security and getting an associate's degree in police studies and a minor in political science as well. There's no doubt the lessons he learned in competition will help him achieve his big academic and career goals.
"I plan to take a year off when I'm done with that and then work as a police officer for five years while I get a masters and a doctorate in homeland security," Tyson said. "Then I'll try to get into the FBI and work there until they force you to retire, and then maybe work as a sheriff afterward."
He said he originally wanted to be an aerospace engineer, but quickly changed his mind after a couple of calculus classes.
"I sat through two calculus classes at SC4 and was like, 'No, this isn't going to happen,'" he said. "But then one day I was watching NCIS and thought, 'Yeah, that's what I want to do.'"
So, he enrolled in the Criminal Justice Program and worked alongside several police officers who let him ride along to gain more knowledge and experience.
"Right now, you look at the stuff going on with cops and a lot of people aren't really liking them that much," Tyson said. "But just learning from my professor and the couple cops I got to work with, I know that 99.9% of cops are trying to just do the right thing, and that's what I want to do too."