By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The year 2020 will go down a historic one for the Munford Cougar Wrestling program.
When the calendar turned to the current year, Munford Head Wrestling Coach David Cline sent six wrestlers to the February Class 3A State Tournament in Franklin.
One of those Cougars reached the medal stand in the 106-pound division. Keegan Schulz wrapped up his decorated Cougar career on the mat by earning third place.
Fast forward to July 14, Schulz put a bow on his Munford Wrestling tenure by signing with Cumberland University with his Cline by his side, Cumberland coach Nate Croley, mother Vicki, girlfriend Raegan Alvey and Munford assistant principal Darren Walker.
“It’s a surreal feeling,” Keegan said. “I chose Cumberland because they showed the most interest. It’s a good location, good program, good coaches and has everything I really wanted.”
This fall Schulz will make his move to the collegiate level with the Phoenix under the guidance of Head Coach James Hicks. Cumberland is based in Lebanon and is a part of the Mid-South Conference of the NAIA.
The Phoenix were impressed by the four-year letterman Schulz. He reached the Tennessee State Wrestling Tournament all four years in the 106 division. Schulz was a two-time Region 8-3A champion, his junior and senior seasons.
Winner of numerous local tournaments and multiple medals, Schulz also won the Freestyle State championship his junior year in the 113-pound division.
“I am personally excited for him,” Cline said. “It’s a goal he set as a freshman. We set down four years ago and discussed what we needed to do to get him to his goal of wrestling in college. He stuck with it for four years. He worked hard for this.”
Cline said the combination of determination, discipline and diet was a part of Schulz’s work ethic.
“First one in, last one out,” he said. “Offseason is where most of his success came from. He never quit. He was working all the time.”
As Schulz’s body matured, his muscles grew and his strength increased, the Cougar had to focus more on his nutrition and weight management.
“Watching my weight became harder,” Schulz acknowledged. “A lot of discipline, not eating, the diet. But I love it and that’s just a part of it.”
Schulz said he fell in love with the sport his freshman year and all phases of the sport became fun to him. With the support of his parents, coaches, teammates and administration, Schulz said it was no doubt he was going forward with wrestling.
“I’m going to miss the people a lot,” Schulz said. “I learned a lot like how to become a good teammate, leader and friend. They are my friends and they mean a lot to me.”
Cline said Munford has graduated one of the most decorated wrestlers in program history and his college signing is a feather in the cap for all Cougar grapplers.
“It shows the hard work of Munford Wrestling,” the veteran coach said. “If you work for what you want, you can achieve it. It is a apart of this program and shows a kid this is the best sport in the world.
“To share the spotlight with Keegan today, we’re grateful,” he continued. “Keegan always has team in his mind. He’s team oriented. He’s knowledgeable of the path he’s setting for others.”
Cline said Keegan will represent Cougar Wrestling with class on the next level. As for representing the program as the best of all time, Keegan said that was never his official goal.
“I’m blessed to have such a good career,” he concluded. “I don’t care if I am the most decorated wrestler of all time. But I am happy to be in the conversation.”