Going to the Matt
Senior wrestler Matthew Singleton has had a busy year. In early December he competed at the inaugural Junior Pan American Games in Cali, Colombia. In May he won the United World Wrestling (UWW) Junior National Greco-Roman title in Coralville, Iowa, to secure a seat on the USA world wrestling team, representing the United States at the World Championship in Russia over the summer.
Matthew won his second NHSCA national title in Virginia Beach earlier this spring. After many grueling matches against top college athletes from around the country, Matthew clinched the title at 74 KG by defeating the reigning Greco National Champion and returning world team member in a best of three series. Matthew swept the series with wins of 8-6 and 9-0. That win represented the first of its kind in Woodward Academy athletic history, along with the first in the state of Georgia in more than 30 years. It made Matthew the No. 1 ranked junior wrestler in the country at 170 pounds. Matthew is also a three-time Georgia state champion looking to become only the fourth Woodward academy wrestler to become a four-time state champion.
Matthew’s coach, Jeff Ragan, a former Oklahoma State wrestler, made the USA freestyle world team during his college career.
We took a minute to get Matthew’s perspective on his already stellar wrestling career:
What drew you to wrestling and what do you continue to enjoy about it?
My dad wrestled in college and he brought me to it. I tried a lot of sports when I was younger but wrestling stuck with me. I think the sport is amazing with how there’s endless possibilities in every match and it’s always one-on-one.
What have been the most satisfying moments of your wrestling career thus far?
My most satisfying moments have been winning a state championship with the team, making a world team, and winning Super 32 in October.
What does it feel like to compete on a world stage?
I can’t even describe it. I’m one of the most confident people in the world but it was definitely nerve wracking. It’s a complete honor to wear the USA singlet and carry that kind of power with you. The competition is also really different. These guys have trained their whole lives under different circumstances so it’s a very unnatural feel competing against them.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not wrestling?
Anytime I’m not wrestling or doing school work I like to relax and have fun. I’m a big beach bum and enjoy traveling. I love watching movies, especially comic book and superhero-related ones.
What are your plans beyond Woodward? Do you expect you will continue wrestling?
Definitely, I’m wrestling at NC State for my collegiate career. My goal is to be an NCAA Champ, Teams Champs, and an eventual Olympic Champ.