PACE — When Nate Golmon decided to be a wrestler, he envisioned himself flying through the air after jumping from the turnbuckle post and delivering a flying kick to his opponent's head — just like in the World Wrestling Federation.
He was in for a surprise and so were the wrestlers he competed against. Last Wednesday, with family and friends gathered around him, Golmon signed a letter of intent to attend the University of North Carolina at Pembroke on a wrestling scholarship.
"I thought it was the coolest thing," Nate Golmon said when he found out what real wrestling was about. "It's fun to win."
Golmon wrestled in the 160-pound weight class in high school. As a junior, he placed second at State for Tate High School, a record finish for a wrestler at that school.
In his senior year, Golmon transferred to Pace High School and set a record there placing third in State. His season record this year is 55-3.
Golmon also led Pace to a district team championship and a traditional team title — the first time any school in our area has accomplished winning both championships. Golmon was also named Region One North West Florida Wrestler of the Year for 2019 by coaches and referees.
"He is a good fit with the program," Golmon's mother, Kerri said of UNCP.
Coach Reggie Allen agrees with Golmon's Mother. It was coach Allen who encouraged Golmon go to UNCP. Allen's son wrestled and graduated from Pembroke.
"I sent him a boy and he came back a man," Allen said about his son's experience at UNCP. Pembroke's head coach Othello Johnson, is a man of his word Allen said.
When Allen's son was injured and the possibility he would never wrestle again existed, Johnson called Allen and assured him his son would keep his scholarship.
"I recruited your son for the whole person," Johnson told Allen.
That kind of attitude sold Golmon to the school. He liked the fact that his coaches were interested in developing the whole person.
"The coaching staff said they cared about me becoming a better person and if I happen to become a great wrestler, well that's good, too," Golmon said.
Golmon will study education at Pembroke. He hopes to become a teacher and coach.
Golmon's 12-year-old brother Phillip is his biggest fan. Phillip Golmon was born with Dandy-Walker Syndrome that affects his learning, speech and balance. Phillip loves to watch his brother wrestle.
"He (Nate) is the most amazing big brother," Kerri said. "All he wants to do is make him (Phillip) proud."
During his signing ceremony, Golmon thanked everyone that helped him get to where he is.
"I'm just going to go there and do the best I can do," he said.