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COLLEGE WRESTLING: ATHENS SENIOR WINTERS SIGNS TO WRESTLE AT RIT (2017-05-03)

BY TIM BIRNEY
Valley Sports Report
ATHENS — Athens senior Kaidon Winters will continue his wrestling career at the Rochester Institute of Technology in the fall, but his main focus will on academics.

Winters signed his letter-of-intent to attend RIT Thursday afternoon in the high school library in front of family and friends.

“The academics RIT provides really drew me to the school,” said Winters. “The engineering program is pretty much the main reason I’m going there.

“I was looking at RIT more in regards to their academics, but wrestling ended up becoming an added bonus,” added Winters. “Their team is really good, so it’ll be fun to join them.”

Winters finished an extremely successful career at Athens with a fifth-place finish at the PIAA Class AA Championships in early March. He leaves the program with 120 wins against just 47 losses — the 10th most wins in school history.

He believes RIT has an up-and-coming program.

“Jason Bovenzi is a new coach,” said Winters. “He started coaching there last year. He brought the program up a lot from what it used to be. I’m looking forward to having him as a coach.”

Athens coach Dale Jarvis believes Winters will make an instant impact for RIT.

“I think it’s a big honor for the Athens wrestling program to have any of our wrestlers advance to the college level,” he said. “Kaidon deserves what they’re offering him. I think he’ll do real well there.”

“I believe he can be an impact freshman for them,” noted Jarvis. “The way he works is unique from how the other wrestlers work.

“Kaidon was a good wrestler his first three seasons with Athens then became a great wrestler in his senior season,” added Jarvis. “It’s been a big turnaround for him.”

Jarvis believes with his work ethic, Winters will only get better at the next level.

“He’s just touching the tip of the iceberg with it once he gets to the college level. He’s going to much that more and maybe even be an All-American in his first season.

“I think the way we run our program and the aggressiveness behind it, it’s going to be similar to what he’ll see at the college level,” added Jarvis. “Obviously, they’re going to be men he’s wrestling and physically mature, but he’ll grow into that as his career goes on.”

Winters plans on majoring in Mechanical Engineering.

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IN PHOTO: Front row: Athens senior Kaidon Winters is cropped by his parents Scott Winters, and Sandy Mummert. Back row, from left: Athens High principal Corey Mosher, former Athens wrestling coach Dale Jarvis and Athletic Director Denny Thomas. … PHOTO PROVIDED.

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