Minneapolis -- The number five high school wrestler in Minnesota at 152lbs, Davionte L. L. Young, turned down full-ride scholarships to college in order to enlist in the United States Marine Corps.
“I’ve always wanted to do something with my life that would really mean something,” said Young. “I want to help people, explore the world and serve my country.”
Young has been wrestling since a young age, but it wasn’t until he started wrestling for Apple Valley High School that people began to take notice of him.
“Apple Valley is one of the top high schools for wrestling,” said Young. “When I was with them, I developed into a better wrestler.”
When offered scholarships to various colleges, Young remained determine to enlist in the Marine Corps.
“This is what I want to do with my life,” said Young. “I can always go to school after I become a Marine.”
After Young becomes a Marine, he will have many options to pursue both wrestling and college.
"He has already been contacted by the Marine Corps wrestling team," said Sgt. Timothy Klimek, Young's recruiter. "If he works hard at it, there is no reason why Young wont be able to wrestle
and go to school, while he's living his dream of being a United States Marine."
His recruiters believe his work ethic will serve him well in the Marine Corps.
“He is exactly what we are looking for. He's physically fit, mentally tough and emotionally strong,” said Sgt. Nicholas J. Bynum, one of the recruiters out of Marine Corps Recruiting Station Twin
Cities, who helped Young with the enlisting process. “The physical and mental toughness it takes to be good in wrestling are the same that it takes to be successful in the Marine Corps.”
Young believes his career as a wrestler will help him in the challenges to come in Marine Corps recruit training.
“I know how to push myself to achieve what I want,” said Young. “In boot camp, I’m going to face some challenges that I’ve never had to face before, but what I’ve been through as a wrestler will prepare me for some of it.”
Young will begin Marine Corps recruit training at Marine Corps Recruiting Depot San Diego, June 23.