Riverdale junior Nick Boykin took the next step towards his ultimate goal of becoming an Olympic wrestling champion Monday.
The back-to-back Class AAA 285-pound state champion announced Monday that he will home-school for at least half his senior year, leaving Murfreesboro for Colorado Springs to train with Team USA wrestling program after the Warriors’ 2016 football program ends.
“This will just give me the training I need to become an Olympic champion,” Boykin said.
Boykin has proven he may capable of doing just that.
The Tennessean’s All-Midstate wrestler of the year not only wrapped up his second consecutive state title this year, but he became the first athlete from Tennessee to win the Cadet National Championships in both Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling in the same year.
After visiting Colorado Springs over spring break, Boykin said the opportunity to train at the Olympic Training Center was one he just couldn’t pass on.
“This is an open door,” he said. “Not many people get this chance to go to the Olympic Training Center right out of high school. It means a lot that I’m one of those guys that they see potential in. I’m going to try and win for them.”
As for his quest for the state title three-peat, Boykin said he would like to still compete in the TSSAA wrestling championships if he is permitted since he will be home-schooling but he has yet to meet with anyone from the TSSAA yet to discuss the possibility.
Blackman’s Dowdy to walk on at UT: Blackman’s Taeler Dowdy wanted a chance to play college football on a bigger stage.
He will get that opportunity next season in Knoxville.
Dowdy will be a preferred walk-on at Tennessee in the fall after originally signing with Austin Peay in February.
“With my grind and all of the hard work I’ve put in, I think I can reach my full potential at Tennessee,” Dowdy said.
Dowdy said Austin Peay coach Will Healy and the coaching staff understood his decision and granted him his release from his scholarship.
Dowdy, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound athlete, rushed for a Rutherford County best 2,132 yards with 30 total touchdowns in 2015 in what was his lone season as a starter. He was named the Region 2-6A Offensive MVP and was a Tennessee Titans Class 6A Mr. Football semifinalist.
His original offers included Tennessee Tech and Tennessee State before signing with Austin Peay.
Dowdy said he has been told he can possibly earn a scholarship later.
“It was a hard decision,” Dowdy said. “I really like Peay and think they are going to turn it around.
“It has always been my dream to play big ball.”
FCA takes MTAC title: Franklin Christian Academy’s boys soccer team won its first ever Middle Tennessee Athletic Conference championship Saturday, topping Aaron Academy 5-2 at Currey Ingram Academy in Brentwood.
The Falcons made it to Saturday’s MTAC title game with a 6-1 win over West Academy and used the title game to wrap up a perfect 12-0 season.
“I am so proud of these kids who have worked so hard and have done nothing but lived and breathed soccer the past year in order to achieve their goal of winning a championship,” FCA coach Rod McLain said in a statement.
Senior Tyler Ritchie led the way for the Falcons, tallying two goals, both off penalty kicks.