It’s like father, like son, for Sean Carroll and his dad when it comes to sports, as Carroll followed him onto the wrestling mat when he made his sport of choice.
“My father was a wrestler…so I was exposed to it at a young age,” says Carroll. “I really started taking it seriously when I got into high school.”
The recent Santa Margarita Catholic High School graduate and four-year varsity wrestler in the 152-pound weight class has always valued how the sport pushes him to be both a better competitor and person.
“I enjoy the competitive aspect and how much I can challenge myself,” says Carroll of wrestling. “It’s a sport where hard work really translates to success.”
As a captain for the Eagles, Carroll approached leadership by setting the example for his teammates, in hopes that they would follow suit.
“Sean leads by example on and off the mat through his dedication and strong work ethic,” says Santa Margarita head wrestling coach, Scott Sedlick. “He is never one to make excuses when facing failure and is eager to get back to work, striving for future success. It is these types of attributes that make Sean a tremendous leader and great teammate.”
Carroll and Sedlick share a mutual respect for each other, as the 18-year-old cites his coach as one of his most significant role models, both in wrestling and in life.
“He’s been a great motivator,” says Carroll of Sedlick, “He’s taught me a lot of life lessons off the mat that have been really pivotal to my success.”
As with many elite high school athletes, finding balance between their sports and their studies can pose a challenge, and Carroll admits that juggling everything has been a work in progress.
“I have to convince myself that there is time for everything,” says Carroll, “and I’ll get to it and get it done and move forward.”
Away from the mat, Carroll is a member of National Honor Society (NHS) and participated in the school’s Model UN program. The Dana Point resident has also used his leadership skills at confirmation retreats for the youth at St. Edward the Confessor, a place where Carroll finds similarities to his sport.
“There are some aspects that translate from wrestling,” says Carroll of serving church youth. “You’re trying to fill a leadership role and reinforce values.”
With academics as his focus, Carroll is headed to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the fall accompanied by the knowledge that hard work will get him where he wants to be, whether in athletics or in life.
“I’d say that wrestling has taught me how to work hard,” says Carroll. “That working hard is doing what you don’t want to do, when you don’t want to do it. Reinforcing that is a large takeaway.”