Virgil welcomes call to continue wrestling career at Limestone College

Published 11:17 am Monday, May 20, 2024

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College wrestling coaches were showing interest in Polk County standout Jadyn Virgil, but the Wolverine senior didn’t want to make a quick decision.

Virgil wanted to find the right fit, even if meant going ahead and moving on with his intended career in law enforcement. In fact, he had largely decided to go that route following graduation.

A phone call changed those plans.

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“I was at work one day, and I got a call from the coach (at Limestone College), and he said, hey, we have money for you. Come for a visit,” Virgil said. “I went for a visit, I loved it.

“I love the campus, I love their training program, I love the rooms. So that’s how I made my decision.”

The choice to attend Limestone College and continue his wrestling career led to Virgil signing a letter-of-intent Wednesday in a ceremony in the PCHS auditorium with friends and family in attendance.

Virgil will continue a wrestling career that ranks as one of the best in Polk County history. Virgil won more than 100 matches and became only the sixth Wolverine wrestler to place at least twice at a state meet, that coming with his sixth-place finish in 2023 at the state 2A meet and his third-place showing at this year’s 1A meet.

His 1A West Regional title was the first for the program since 2011, and his 46 match wins in 2023-24 are the second-highest in program history.

“It feels awesome,” Virgil said of his signing. “When you’re thinking for months on end that you’re not going to be able to do it again, you get really sad, because you’ve been working so hard on something and then it just stops.

“But as soon as I saw that call, I was like, yes, I finally get the opportunity to do what I really wanted to do.”

A Division II member of Conference Carolinas, Limestone finished 4-7 last season. Head coach Colin Johnston concluded his second season leading the program based in Gaffney, S.C.

“Since they’re a higher division, they have a lot more money to put into their wrestling program,” Virgil said. “Some schools I go to, they don’t have much of a room, so you’d have to travel to another campus or something (for practice). On their campus, the mat room is right there, their exercise facilities are right there where you can go work out.”

When Virgil arrived at Polk County as a sophomore, many buzzed about his potential impact as a football player, and Virgil said his dreams of being a college athlete always revolved around football. That began to change as he enjoyed success on the mat as a Wolverine, and now he hopes to build on that at Limestone.

“I was thinking more football when I was younger because that’s what everyone wanted, like oh, you need a football scholarship,” he said. “Last year, wrestling just started clicking. I went from being sixth in the conference, not even qualifying for state, to winning conference and being a state placer in less than a year.

“I feel like I’m just starting to get to those top levels where I’m able to wrestle at the next level. There’s always room to improve. Nobody’s perfect. Every single time, even if you win the match, there are still parts of the match you haven’t done perfectly.”