Lake Wales' Wilson Signs With Samford
Thu. May 10, 2012 at 6:40 a.m. | By Solange Reyner
By SOLANGE REYNER
After winning a state title in basketball this year, point guard Russel Wilson had several collegiate offers to consider.
But he didn't want to play at a community college or a Division II program.
'A lot of people said I couldn't go D-I. I wanted to prove them wrong,' said Wilson, whose stifling defense led the Highlanders to the Class 5A championship.
On Sunday, Wilson signed with Samford University in Alabama, a Division I program that competes in the mid-major Southern Conference.
Samford's staff took notice of Wilson a few weeks ago when he was competing in a tournament in Georgia. An assistant coach saw him play and was impressed with his quickness and ability to get other players involved in the offense. His specialty was what they noticed most, though.
Wilson, this year's PolkPreps.com boys basketball player of the year, has a knack for frustrating opposing players with the way he hounds them on defense.
'They liked that, too,' he said.
Wilson, who stands 6 feet, scored just 17 points total in the two games of the state tournament. But his defense on the guards of American Heritage and Terry Parker led to numerous turnovers that allowed Lake Wales to get into its transition game.
He averaged 13 points, seven assists, six rebounds and 3.5 steals per game for the season.
The Polk County High School All-Star Baseball Game will take place Monday at 6 p.m. at Polk State College.
Previously, the game was played at Winter Haven. It was moved to Polk State this year. The roster is as follows:
All Saints' Academy: Carson Fulmer, Tyler Kelley, Garrett Doyle and Brenton Willis. Bartow: Travis Brown and Andrew Whitaker. Auburndale: Kevin Pulone, Dyllon Ping, Davis Conley and Jose Olivero. Fort Meade: Trent Spears, Jonathan Camp, Jalen Brown. George Jenkins: Kyle Hunter, Levi Wheatcraft, Shawn Kerst, Trey Montanez. Frostproof: Josh Baber, Jacob Smith. Haines City: Rob Whalen, Jose Serrano. Kathleen: Jacob Prescott, Taylor Hargrove. Lake Region: Trevor Moots, Nathan Amidon, Cody Gill, Bradley Williams, Jordan Kent. Lakeland: Brad Labozzetta, Tyler Howe, Chad Vinson, Michael Sabato. Lake Gibson: Joe Novis, Cory Plasky, Levi Atkinson. Lake Wales: Flaco Hernandez, Geoff Hernandez, Zach Calvin, Kaleb Chappel. Lakeland Christian: Tyler Leach. Santa Fe Catholic: Chris Nattania. McKeel Academy: Kyle Schackne, Tyler Cornelius. Tenoroc:Dusty McClain, Trevor Watson. Mulberry: Dylan Harrison, Jason Segree. Ridge Community: Anthony Rivera, Kim Miller. Victory Christian: Mike Morgan.Winter Haven: Tyler Pike, Levi Borders, Chase Coon, Zach Wolf.
Kathleen running back Terry Bentley has decided to play football at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio.
Bentley rushed for 709 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Red Devils last year. Wittenberg, a Division III program, competes in the North Coast Athletic Conference.
Lake Gibson's Kennard Swanson and Eric Carter have picked up offers from Purdue and Western Kentucky, coach Robert Whitaker told The Ledger. Swanson, a defensive lineman, also picked up an offer from the University of Central Florida. Carter is a wide receiver for the Braves.