Region Champ wrestler first to sign collegiate scholarship out of Bainbridge

Published 4:50 pm Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Ryan Adams had the honor Tuesday of being the first Bainbridge wrestler to sign a collegiate scholarship.

The senior football player and star wrestler signed for a full-ride with Life University of Marietta. He’ll start his college career this fall.

“When we went to tour the campus, I wasn’t sure about it. But it was beautiful, and it was a full ride,” Adams said. “Coach is pretty cool. I met a few of the other wrestlers. Everybody there is friendly. Everybody I passed said hey.”

After suffering an MCL tear last August during a football scrimmage, Adams and his doctors expected recovery to last on through wrestling season. Adams came back in time to not only compete his senior year on the mat, but go undefeated the regular season, win a region championship and place third in the state tournament.

“He is definitely a top three wrestler to ever come through,” wrestling coach Chad Smith said. “He’s a guy that can overcome adversity and achieve his goals.”

Smith said Adams had been wrestling with the Bearcats since he was in seventh grade. With more natural ability than anyone gave him credit for, sports came easily, giving him extra time to put in the work in the classroom and the community.

“From the get go he has always put character before anything, academics,” Smith said. “Really, sports were the last thing on his priority list, he just happened to be good at them. That’s a testament to how he was raised.”

Adams’ mother, Shea Parker, was proud of her son signing with a school that valued Christianity.

“I was crying while he was signing,” Parker said, still with tears in her eyes. “I think I am most proud he is a Christian. As long as he keeps putting God first, then he is always going to win.”

Life University is a private university in the suburbs of Atlanta that offers undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees. Besides undergraduate and graduate programs in health and wellness-oriented fields, Life University is best known for its Doctor of Chiropractic degree pro-gram. It is the largest single campus chiropractic college in the world.