• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports Editor

Adam Bender signs with Kentucky Wesleyan College

Woodford County High School senior Adam Bender signed his letter of intent to attend and wrestle for Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro.

“I really made the decision based on the coach,” said Bender. “Chris Freije was drill partner with Anthony Robles and so he knew how hard Robles had to work with one leg to win a national title. Coach Freije understands how hard I will have to work to be successful at the next level and I believe he can help my growth on the mat.”

(Robles won the NCAA National Championship in 2011 in the 125-pound weight class at Arizona State University. He won the Most Courageous Athlete Award by the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association in 2012. )

Bender finished his senior season with a 34-8 record and placed fifth at 113 pounds. He is a four-time state placer at the high school level.

The wrestling program at Kentucky Wesleyan will be entering its first season this fall. Bender said he's excited to be part of starting something from scratch and watching it grow.

“We have a couple of guys coming from Kentucky on scholarship and the rest will be out of state wrestlers,” said Bender. “I think the plan is to start working out as soon as I get to campus but as of right now I am not sure when the season starts. I have a little weight to gain first in order to be ready but I have time to make that happen.”

Coming into the season, Bender was unsure of what the future held for him.

“For a while, I did not think I would wrestle in college,” said Bender. “Coach Rusty Parks was a big influence in getting me motivated to work for this goal. He is a fantastic motivator and someone who wants what is best for his guys. Now I am just really excited to get down there and start my future of earning a business degree and wrestling against some of the best in the country.”

For the rest of the school year, Bender will continue to train in the wrestling room at WCHS. His role as a mentor to the younger wrestlers is something he does not take lightly.

“I tell all the guys that the road is hard, but if you trust Coach Parks and his system, you will be rewarded for your hard work and I am proof of that.”

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