‘You don’t deserve anything, you only deserve what you earn’

Matthew Wheeler finds motivation, inspiration with Southern Maine wrestling season

Posted:  Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 7:30pm
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GORHAM — Matthew Wheeler was not always a wrestler. 

In fact, it was not even Wheeler’s idea for him to join the wrestling program at Thorndike’s Mount View High School. 

Wheeler’s football teammates were the ones to convince him to try out for the wrestling team. 

Once Wheeler gave wrestling a shot, he became hooked since wrestling “didn’t require much athletic talent, just hard work,” which is what he says mostly drew him to the sport. 

Now, Wheeler is a senior wrestler on the University of Southern Maine NCAA Division III team in Gorham. 

As a student-athlete for the Huskies, Wheeler is pursuing a degree in exercise science and intends on pursuing a degree in physical education so he can become a physical education teacher and “find a good woman to settle down with in the countryside.” 

The five-foot-eight, 149-pound wrestler opted to wrestle for Southern Maine since he loves the sport, in addition to its life lessons. 

The William B. Wise Scholar Athlete and Troy native is motivated by his parents, who inspire him to do his best to make them proud, and enjoys spending his free time in the woods hiking, hunting and fishing, in addition to spending time with his family. 

Wheeler, who hopes to travel Alaska to spend time in its vast wilderness believes his greatest accomplishment in life thus far is “being a dedicated student-athlete throughout high school and college.” 

In fact, his personal goals in the classroom include being able to “create a system to manage time and tasks accordingly in each class so that above average success can be achieved.” 

While Wheeler notes he “may not be the most talented wrestler,” his goal is “to win the battle within, then wrestle each match with vigor, intensity, and pride.” 

When asked to provide some words of wisdom for any Midcoast student-athletes, in any sport, dreaming of being a collegiate student-athlete, Wheeler noted being a collegiate student-athlete requires “a commitment to success that requires sacrifice.” 

For Wheeler, his favorite quote is from Tom Brands: “You don’t deserve anything, you only deserve what you earn.” 

Wheeler has earned an opportunity not many Midcoast Mainers have earned.

That is, in an area dominated by basketball during the cold — sometimes harsh — winters, Wheeler earned himself a spot on a collegiate wrestling program. 


Reach George Harvey and the sports department at: sports@penbaypilot.com