On Nov. 14, Millville resident and Sussex Central senior Brock Budesheim signed a letter-of-intent to accept a full scholarship to wrestle for Division II powerhouse Newberry College in South Carolina following his senior year.
Budesheim received interest from other schools as well, including Division I Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina. But he said he knew he made the right decision after visiting Newberry College in between unofficial visits to Gardner-Webb and Campbell University.
“I went down to visit a few colleges when the [assistant] coach from Newberry asked me what it would take for me to come down to visit,” Budesheim said. “I was just going to stop by out of respect and everything, and I ended up falling in love with the town and campus. I loved their wrestling facilities and the coaches were awesome. And that made my decision.”
Newberry’s 90-acre campus — which is about 30 minutes away from South Carolina’s state capital, Columbia — hosts roughly 920 students, with half participating in collegiate athletics.
Last season, Newberry College ranked 13th in Division II, and the addition of Budesheim certainly projects to maintain or, he hopes, improve their status.
“Brock is a wonderful person and an outstanding wrestler,” Golden Knights head wrestling coach Phil Shultie said. “He’s dedicated a lot of time to the sport of wrestling and it shows that hard work pays off. I’m sure he’ll be very successful at Newberry.
“He’s definitely earned [the scholarship] and I’m just tickled to death for him, and happy that all this is behind him and he can focus on his senior year,” Shultie added.
In his three years at Sussex Central, Budesheim (wrestling at 171 pounds) tallied 124 wins, and last year he fell just short of a state championship.
Budesheim (39-9) fell to Smyrna’s Matt Boyle in a 6-4 decision taking second place during last year’s state tournament, in a rematch of their match from the Henlopen Conference tournament. Budesheim bested Boyle 3-2 to finish third in the conference tournament last year.
In 2005, Budesheim placed fourth at the state tournament and also placed sixth at the Sophomore Nationals in Pittsburgh, Pa. The following year, he improved his national ranking as he had done in the state by placing fifth in the Junior Nationals, this time in Virginia Beach.
And if that wasn’t impressive enough, Budesheim is also a two-time Greco state champion and a Junior Olympic All-American at 171 pounds.
Budesheim has wrestled since he was 5 years old but noted that he really didn’t commit himself 100 percent to the sport until his eighth-grade year.
“Before my eighth-grade year, I wasn’t to sure if this was what I wanted to do,” he said. “I was playing a lot of different sports, but when I got to eighth grade I realized that I wanted to go to college. So, from then on, I busted my butt, and it’s all paid off.”
And now, with his college selection behind him, Budesheim is concentrating his efforts on helping his team to perform to the best of their ability and to achieve a few personal goals that have eluded him so far.
“I’m really trying to prepare myself for college, but there are other things that I’d like to achieve in my senior year,” he said. “I’d like to win a state championship this year and help my team out. And, hopefully, we’ll win a conference state championship and have an undefeated season.”
Even though wrestling is an individual sport in the sense that it takes individual performances to achieve a team victory, Budesheim was quick to credit everyone that helped him along the way.
“I’ve got to thank everybody from my coaches and teammates, my family — without them I’d never be where I am today — all my teachers for being there for me and all the people throughout the state that have supported me,” he said.
Sussex Central will kick off the start of their 2007-2008 season with a home scrimmage on Nov. 20 against Stephen Decatur, which will start at 4 p.m.