FAIRMONT — It was a special day for two young Polar Bears football teammates Wednesday, as Trey Longwell and Kolbie Hamilton plotted the course for their futures in two different sports, Longwell in track, and Hamilton in wrestling.
Longwell signed with Marshall University track and field on Wednesday, with the opportunity to apply himself against Division I competition at the forefront of his decision.
“I just thought it would be really cool to play at one of the highest levels in West Virginia, a D-I school,” Longwell said. “It’s a really cool opportunity.”
Longwell was an all-state honorable mention defensive back for the Polar Bears in football, but chose to pursue track collegiately.
“Track, something about hitting (personal records), nothing’s like it,” Longwell said. “Football was really cool too, but I had the best opportunity with track.”
Longwell ran the fourth fastest 100-meter dash at the state meet last year, running an 11.40, and was part of Fairmont Senior’s third-place 4x100 meter relay team. All of this came in Longwell’s first year running track.
Longwell credits the work he put in at Guerilla Strength and Fitness for his rapid acclimation to the sport.
“Going to Guerilla helped a lot,” Longwell said. “I think going there, it’s just the beginning, I can get a lot faster. Hopefully [Marshall] can bring that out of me.”
With one more track season this spring before hanging up his blue and white garb for good, Longwell spoke about the supportive atmosphere at Fairmont Senior.
“There’s nothing quite like it — every sport I’ve played, it’s been like a family. Fairmont Senior’s one of the best schools, it’s really awesome to have gone to school here.”
As for his new home, Marshall University is reviving their men’s track and field team after cutting the program in 2003. Longwell will have his shot to help Marshall start off with a bang as part of the Thundering Herd’s inaugural recruiting class.
“I’ll be one of the first people they’ve recruited. It’s going to be really cool to be a leader,” Longwell said.
“They really made it feel like home when I went down there.”
Alongside Longwell, Kolbie Hamilton put pen to paper with the Glenville State Pioneers’ wrestling program, lending his talents to an ascending program that is new in their own right.
After restarting their wrestling program three years ago, the Pioneers now add a two-time West Virginia state champion to the mix.
“They have a really great wrestling team and I feel like I’ll be a really great fit up there,” Hamilton said.
“I considered a couple other [schools] but Glenville was my overall top pick.”
Glenville State’s Gavin Quiocho recently won a national championship for the Pioneers this past season, and the Pioneers finished inside the Top 10 at the D-II NCAA National Championships. Having high-caliber teammates is a big deal for Hamilton.
“It’s great to hear that I can go be in a room with a national champion, that I can continue to excel and be a good part of the team,” Hamilton said.
“It’s local for him, he can stay close to home and I’ve heard great things about the program at Glenville State,” Fairmont Senior head coach Michael Fortier said. “The things they’re doing down there, it just keeps improving and improving. Kolbie will be a great addition to their team and their program. I’m looking forward to seeing him in the future and seeing what he can do down there.”
Hamilton went 43-1 this season, finishing his career with a state championship at 144 pounds. Hamilton also won the gold at 138 his junior year, making him one of 15 Polar Bears to win back-to-back state champions in the school’s long history.
“I feel like I had a great career at Fairmont Senior,” Hamilton said. “I’ve done pretty well here, I’m in probably the Top 25% to come through this school for wrestling. I feel like as I move forward it’s going to be a fresh start and I’ll have to prove myself all over again.”
“His success wasn’t given to him, he had to work hard at it,” Fortier said. “The guys have seen the work he put in and the success that’s come with it. I think obviously that’ll reflect on our program, on the guys who have been in the room with him and know what they need to do to get to the level he’s at.”
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