LITTLEFIELD — Landon Stocks will head west to continue his wrestling career – the Midwest, that is.
Stock, a graduating senior at Ayden-Grifton High School, recently signed a national letter of intent to wrestle for Doane University, an NAIA school located in Crete, Neb.
Stocks had interest from other out-of-state schools, such as Ohio Wesleyan and Concordia Moorhead (Minn.), but said he ultimately chose Doane due to its location, the campus, the competition he’d see on the mat and the fact it is a smaller school.
Stocks had never wrestled before taking at mat as a freshman at Ayden-Grifton. Yet he tried the sport upon the urging of his friends, who thought he would be good at it.
Turns out they were right.
Stocks compiled a 166-33 career record for the Chargers, which included numerous regional and state tournament appearances. He is now the school’s all-time leader in wins.
This past season – his senior campaign – Stocks went 44-5 overall and reached the finals of the 113-pound weight class in the state 2A championship individual meet in Greensboro.
He ended his career as a three-time conference champion and three-time regional champion.
“I am proud of what I was able to accomplish here,” he said.
Doane showed interest in Stocks about three-fourths of the way into Ayden-Grifton’s season. They maintained contact after the season through virtual tours, video tours and phone calls, he said.
Stocks has fond memories of his wrestling career at A-G.
He said he was really motivated by Ray and J.C. Darden; teammates motivating each other before they took the mat, and being under the spotlight in the Greensboro Coliseum was a career highlight.
Stocks thanked numerous people for their advice and support: his parents, Kathy and Andrew, and immediate family; his head coach, Jeff Wooten; and the A-G administration.
“I always remembered I was representing the school and them all the time,” he said. “I wanted to make a name for us.”
What would Stocks say to those youngsters interested in playing a sport in college?
“You’ve got to love it,” he said. “Sports and the suffering that comes with it are worth it,” he said.