Goings signs with Embry-Riddle
Sam Goings is a cowboy at heart, but he knew a long time ago wrestling would be his ticket to a bright college future.
The three-time state wrestling champ will continue his wrestling career as he envisioned all those years ago since he committed to attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz.
“Wrestling in college has been my goal since first grade,” Goings said. “The thing about wrestling is it’s not like it’s a fun sport. You do it and you want more. You want to work harder. You want to get more tired. It shows off the way you can improve yourself. And it’s just winning. It pays off. It’s all you. I don’t have to rely on anyone else out there. It’s me and the other guy. I loved it.”
And this isn’t the first time someone from Fallon will wrestle for the Eagles.
Ex-Greenwave star and the last Division I Fallon state champ, Colin Merkley, called Prescott home for four years, turning out a productive college career in helping the Eagles in the NAIA. In December, Merkley reached out to Goings and gave him some advice.
“Unless you’re dead set on competing NCAA Division I, the competition and challenge for the NAIA West region and nationally is still tough and respectable,” Merkley said. “I told him to take his time and really think about what he wants to do, whether it was rodeo or wrestling. He made the choice on his own and with his parents and I’m pumped for him.”
Goings, who also rodeos in the spring, helped Fallon win its first-ever state championship in February. He competed in several marque national wrestling tournaments in his spare time, placing as high as fourth.
“I wanted to stay in the west,” said Goings, who will be taking advantage of academic and athletic scholarships. “Not all the schools I looked at were in the west. Being able to drive home in the summer and not stay there all summer is real nice.”
Goings’ high school coach, Trevor de Braga, and youth wrestling coach, Wade Workman, were instrumental in helping the oldest of four succeed and achieve his goal.
“Sam started wrestling when he was 6 and I was 14 still in the Outlaw club myself competing and I knew he was going to be something special,” de Braga said. “He was a stud at a young age and it’s been a pleasure to watch him grow and be one of the best wrestlers to come out of Fallon.”
Goings marks the first signee for KC Rock and Embry-Riddle this offseason. Rock, who coached Merkley to All-American status, looks forward to Goings stepping on campus.
“This is a great signing for our program,” Rock told the school’s website. “Sam is a top-notch wrestler who has success on a national level. He has been in the fire and knows how to compete. I am excited to have Sam and his family as Eagles and look forward to great things from him.”
In addition to wrestling, Goings was pleased with the degrees offered at the Prescott school and is eying an engineering degree. Goings, though, was counting on wrestling to help pave the way to a bright future after high school.
“Winning state this year helped a lot,” he said. “Going to tournaments like Virginia Beach and Fargo and some national tournaments got me noticed. It got me some creditability on a higher level. Winning state three times, those are some good accolades right there. I was really counting on my wrestling to get me places.”
And the accolades shouldn’t stop. Both de Braga and Merkley expect Goings to etch his name in the record books and become an All-American.
“He’ll love Prescott. He’ll love wrestling at the next level,” Merkley said. “He’s a stud so I expect big things and I’ll be sure to be in the room as much as possible to get him in line for a national title. I think he’s got the stuff.”