Haywood heads west

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, June 26, 2024

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Former Washington High School wrestler TraQuon Haywood is hard at work, preparing for his first collegiate season at Blackburn College in Carlinville, IL.

Haywood makes the westward trip to the Division III school in southeastern Illinois near the Missouri border after helping the Pam Pack to the runner up spot in the East regional and advancing to the individual state tournament in the 165 lb. weight class.

“He’s very athletic, but still pretty green as far as wrestling goes, but he has a huge upside,” coach Chris Penhollow said. “He weathered the storm of not having much success early and kept grinding until he started to win.

They are getting a kid who is willing to learn and one who will work hard to continue to develop his skills.”
Haywood went 37-10 his senior year and repeated as the Eastern Plains 2A Conference champion at 165 lbs. and decided to try to keep his career going in college.

“I was in contact with friends in Illinois who told me Blackburn was starting a wrestling program and it worked out,” Haywood said. I didn’t see this route to college coming, I thought my sport was football when I came to high school, but I’m excited to continue to improve on the mat.”

Haywood credits the Pam Pack coaching staff that includes assistant Carl Perry for helping improve every year.
“He helped me with fundamentals and pushed me past my limit every day in practice,” Haywood said. “I’ve learned to love the adrenaline rush when the match starts, and I figure why stop if I have a chance to keeping going.”