Former Windsor wrestler looks to new challenges


Former Windsor High wrestling star Kevin Young is anxious to make a smooth transition into a new set of challenges, some simply to come while on a different kind of mat.

The 23-year-old Midland University wrestling star concluded his wrestling career when a knee injury forced him to the sideline in February. While the NAIA mat powerhouse from Fremont, Neb., rolled through the national championship meet, Young got a head start on his life after wrestling.

“I’m a competitor. I decided I want to take my education and put that work to start my career,” Young said Tuesday. “I just need a minor arthroscopic procedure on my knee. I’m running and working out. But I graduate in June and I want to start in the business world.”

The knee had been locking up on Young since November, but the trainers didn’t pull him from competition until he’d already qualified for the NAIA national championship meet.

“I wish I could’ve done more to help my team in the postseason,” Young said. “I realize I’m just a competitor.”
While Young’s major in Human Performance with an emphasis in sports management will get him competing in the work world, he still plans to take another shot on the mat. It just won’t be a wrestling mat.

“Last summer, I realized I’m just hungry to compete,” said Young, who wrestled at 184 pounds most of the season for the Warriors.

“I trained and put my wrestling experience to use in two mixed martial arts fights while I was back home in California. I’m going to pursue mixed martial arts, but I’m focused on getting my career in business going to repay the people who helped me get my degree.”

Young was a two-time North Coast Section tournament qualifier before graduating from Windsor in 2005. He got his Associate of Arts degree from Gavilan College in Gilroy before deciding to take a year off from intercollegiate wrestling.

“I wanted time to recharge my batteries and focus on my studies,” he said of the year without wrestling. “I thought I might really be done with wrestling. I put a lot of work into school. Then Midland recruited me and offered me a wrestling scholarship and I went back. I’m glad I did.”

Young has had a chance to experience a major cultural change from growing up in Windsor.

“If you’d told me 10 years ago that I’d be in Nebraska wrestling, working on a farm, learning to drive a big combine, I wouldn’t have believed you,” he said. “But that’s exactly what I’ve been doing and I love it. I’m so happy to have had this opportunity.”

While in Nebraska, he also earned two trips to the NAIA national tournament.

Young became a youth and high school wrestling star and never lost his love for wrestling.
“I like that you have to have mental toughness and that being fast and strong isn’t enough in the sport,” Young said. “You have to get up at 5 a.m. and run, then go to class. Then you lift weights and go to wrestling practice.

“And being around the team and coaches … it’s like family. The things I learned through wrestling carried through to class and everywhere else in my life.”

The three-time Sonoma County League champion is anxious to return to California.
“I want to make sure I put my career ahead of everything else because so many people made it possible for me to get a degree,” he said.

“I’ll stay involved in mixed martial arts, but my career in business is tops. I’m looking forward to coming home.”