Patriotic, smart, and one of the state's best wrestlers, Trevor Shropshire is moving through his senior year of high school in style.
Not only is the Daniel Boone athlete ranked No. 2 in the state at 195 pounds, he will find out today about his appointment to the United States Naval Academy during a meeting with congressman Phil Roe. A score of 33 on his ACT won't hurt his cause.
Shropshire said he dreamed of a military life even as a very young boy.
“Since I was in kindergarten, I wanted to be in the military,” said Shropshire. “My dad was in the 82nd airborne, and he jumped out of planes. He would tell me stuff about that, and it fascinated me. It kind of started being my goal.
“I used to want to go to West Point, but as I got older I decided Navy was a better school for me. If I go, I will try wrestling there.”
Shropshire has already been accepted to Annapolis, but needs Roe's nomination.
“My last interview is (today),” said Shropshire. “I think it will turn out good.”
Things haven't gone totally smooth for Shropshire this year. He lost a big chunk of his football season because of a neck condition.
Before the Dobyns-Bennett game in Week 4, Shropshire was diagnosed with Spear Tackler's Spine. It is an injury to the cervical spine caused by using the head as the initial point of contact when making a tackle.
For Shropshire it was a process that started in spring football.
“I started having stingers in spring practice,” said Shropshire. “I didn't think much of it. But by Week 4 of the season, I wasn't able to hit anybody without problems.
“When they first told me I couldn't play football, I didn't know how to take it. It was kind of surreal. But the first thing that went through my head was: Am I going to be able to wrestle this year?”
Shropshire found out wrestling would be OK, and said he was happy about it.
“I was disappointed about football, but football was secondary,” he said. “Wrestling was first. When I first started wrestling this season, I took it easy on my neck. I've been going to the chiropractor, and I haven't had problems.”
The only negative things so far don't have to do with the injury, but rather typical wrestling issues. He lost Tuesday night in a match at Morristown East because a recent illness had zapped some of his strength.
Shropshire started the season ranked No. 1 in the state, but dropped to No. 2 because because Murfreesboro Riverdale's Scottie Boykin returned to 195 after moving up a class. Boykin was state runner-up at 195 last season.
“I watched him wrestle last year,” said Shropshire, who finished fourth in the state. “I think I can take him.”
Therefore, Shropshire has set his sights squarely on a state title.
“My goal this year is to win the state tournament,” said Shropshire. “I want to win the region, but my main goal is to go to Franklin and win.
“Once you get down to the state tournament, there's no looking back. Every match you have to go out there and believe in yourself. You get out of it what you put into it, and you go down there knowing you have worked harder than the guy across from you. It gives you a sense you're going to beat him.”
Shropshire is 10-2 on the season, with one of the losses coming against a returning state champion from North Carolina. He said he needs to work on keeping himself out of bad situations on the mat.
“And I always need to work on intensity, and being able to scrap,” said Shropshire. “I just need to tweak minor technique things.”
There's more than just wrestling to Shropshire. He's a top-notch student, whose high ACT score suggests a lot of brain power — something he jokingly said didn't come from mom and dad.
“I guess it just skips a generation,” said Shropshire with a big laugh.
Back to seriousness, he said family has been a big help to him.
“My dad and mom have helped, definitely academically,” said Shropshire. “They've always pushed me, made sure I achieve to the best of my abilities, and didn't waste time in school. I remember getting like $10 in elementary school if I came home with straight As. Ten dollars felt like a thousand to me.”
Shropshire said he has also gotten help from Boone wrestling coach Reid Ratliff.
“My dad never wrestled in his life,” said Shropshire. “He's a football guy. So I'd have to say Coach Ratliff has been as influential as anybody in athletics. He has a way of motivating kids and pushing them to achieve their best.”
When Shropshire isn't studying or wrestling, he hunts deer and turkey, plays guitar, and is active in church.
“He encourages his friends to go to church with him, and will go pick them up and take them home if they don't have a way to get there,” said his mother, Alisa. “And several of his fellow wrestler parents have commented to me that he has really helped their sons — not by beating them on the mat, but by showing them and explaining techniques to them.”
Add it all up, and it's easy to see why Shropshire was voted “Mr. Daniel Boone” recently.