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Navajo Pine’s Wilson to attend Dakota State University

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Wilson hit sole NP home run in school history

NAVAJO, N.M. – Navajo Pine High School is just in its third year of varsity baseball and can already boast of a collegiate signee.

Matt Wilson, a shortstop for the Warriors and member of the baseball team the past three years, announced Feb. 14 that he’ll attend Dakota State University in South Dakota come fall. Wilson signed a letter-of-intent to attend DSU at Navajo Pine in the presence of his mother, Hilda Wilson, Navajo Pine Athletic Director Sean Manuelito, Navajo Pine Principal Mary Ann Sherman and Navajo Pine Counselor Joshua Stepney.

Wilson said he was recruited by a number of schools, among them Bacone College in Oklahoma. Bacone is the oldest continuously operated college in Oklahoma.

“I am very happy with my choice,” an elated Wilson said after the signing. “It’s my favorite sport. I’m ready to start meeting new people and ready to start a new life in the classroom.”

Wilson, 17, said he chose DSU because the school was the first to really reach out and communicate with him in lengthy conversations. He said he plans to major in elementary education, saying upon graduation from DSU he’d like to return to Navajo and become a teacher and help his community.

“I feel like when I graduate I can come back and help the community,” Wilson said. “That’s a goal that I have.”

The Warriors ended the 2016 baseball season with a 3-11 record. New Warriors head baseball coach Lindsey Brown said she’s seen Wilson on the field in practices and can definitely say that he’s the real deal. Wilson has had three different head baseball coaches while at Pine and has started each of those years.

“He can play,” Brown said. “He’s very smart and he’s a very versatile athlete.”

Wilson was named Player of the Year at Pine in baseball in 2016.

Dakota State University is a public university located in Madison, S.D. The university is known for its array of courses in computer technology and requires undergraduate students to use tablets and laptops in class, according to its website information.

Athletically, DSU plays as an independent in the Association of Independent Institutions. The Trojans are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

Navajo Pine opens the 2017 baseball season March 14 at Wingate High School. Sherman said she’s proud of Wilson’s college acceptance, saying she and everyone at Navajo Pine wish him well.

By Bernie Dotson
Sun Correspondent