Fishburne Military School senior wrestler Daniel May earned his 100th career victory last month. But 100 wins wasn’t why he gave up sodas and gets up early in the morning before classes to train.
“My goal last year was to win states. I didn’t accomplish that goal, but I think this year it’s going to happen,” said May (Stafford, Va.), who improved to 24-0 in the 138 weight class with a pair of wins in a Jan. 15 quad meet at Alumni Memorial Gym.
May, who had learned earlier in the day that he had won a congressional appointment to attend the United States Merchant Marine Academy, transferred to Fishburne for his junior year, and it was then that his wrestling career took off.
“When I was younger, I didn’t work hard at school, and I didn’t work hard at wrestling, either. Once I really started getting into wrestling and enjoying it, I had a lot more passion for life overall,” said May, who finished third in the state tournament in 2014 and won a match at nationals against a tough draw.
May took up wrestling in middle school after deciding that as much as he liked football, his lack of size would probably be a hindrance in terms of getting playing time.
He wrestled at Colonial Forge as a freshman and sophomore, learning the ropes against quality opponents that included several future Division I college wrestlers.
His focus stepped up when he arrived on campus at FMS.
“A lot of push-ups, a lot of other exercises, lifting in the summer. I put so much work into it,” May said. “I spend a bunch of time away from home going to camps. It’s tough. There’s a lot of stuff that I miss out on. But it’s worth it, because reaching these goals is worth a lot more.”
The secret to his success: “There’s a lot of finesse to it, but a lot of it is just being more determined,” May said.
“Getting in the guy’s face, moving around, outworking the guy. That’s what I think is the most fun thing about it, working hard and just breaking the guy, basically,” May said.
More on Fishburne Military School online at www.Fishburne.org.
– Story and Video by Chris Graham
– Photos by Chris Richmond