Damon Outward put together quite a resume during his four-year wrestling career at Martins Ferry High School.
It was so impressive, in fact, that Wheeling Jesuit is anxious to have him join its inaugural wrestling team next winter.
Outward officially joined the Cardinals' program when he inked his National Letter of Intent last week.
"One of the main reasons that I picked Jesuit is because it's the inaugural season," Outward said. "I also have grown a tight bond with Coach (Sean) Doyle over the past few years. It's very special to be part of the first team."
On top of it being the first season for the Cardinals' wrestling program, he also felt right at home when he thought about spending the next four years there.
"After seeing how nice the campus was and how friendly all of the students were definitely helped make up my mind," Outward admitted. "Another reason I chose Jesuit was because I like being close to my family and friends. Without their support, I am not sure where my wrestling career would have taken me."
Outward put the finishing touches on a brilliant prep career last month when he finished fifth at 126 pounds in Division III, earning his first-ever all-Ohio finish and trip to the state awards' stand.
"Ending my career as one of the top wrestlers in Ohio has been a goal that I wanted to accomplish since I was a little kid," Outward admitted. "It was definitely the highlight of my season."
All told, Outward ended his senior season with an impressive 49-7 record. He was the district and sectional champion. Plus, he notched his first-ever trip to the championship bout of the Ron Mauck OVAC Tournament.
"I expect Damon to continue to work hard and be a piece of building a solid program at Jesuit," said Ferry head coach Scott Roth. "He's been a leader over the past four years and really finished his career on a high note. I hope he's able to continue where he left off and continue to improve his wrestling skills at the collegiate level."
Outward's 49 victories this season broke his high school coach's single-season victory record. He also owns the Ferry High career record for pins with 73.
During the Meadowbrook Duals in January, Outward surpassed the 100-win mark. He finished with a 134-29 career record.
Outward is hoping to be wrestling at 125 or 133 pounds next season, but knows he needs to continue to get stronger and improve to be able to contribute as he'd like for WJU.
"I have to work more at being able to get off the from the bottom," Outward said.
Along with wrestling, Outward was also a regular for the Purple Riders' football team.
Away from athletics, Outward has taken part in Young Life and Chy-Phy.
Damon, who is the son of Jesse and Dawn Outward, plans on majoring in nursing.
Staskey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org