Gage Wilson started a charity last year that raised money for diabetes research every time he made a kick for Bishop Gorman’s football team.
He hopes to continue fighting the disease during his college career.
Wilson, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 11, recently made an oral commitment to Lehigh (Pa.) after a record-breaking career for the Gaels.
The 5-foot-10-inch, 200-pound senior punter/place-kicker is the ninth player from the Gorman team that won USA Today’s mythical national championship to sign with or commit to a Division I school. Lehigh is a Football Championship Subdivision school that competes in the Patriot League.
“So often people who don’t know anything about (diabetes) just assume it will hinder or stop you from doing something,” Wilson said. “You have to respect it, but you can’t let it stop you from doing anything.
“It is hard. It took time, but I just learned how to live with it, and now it’s normal for me. It never really stopped me from experiencing anything or trying anything.”
Wilson started playing football after he transferred to Faith Lutheran as an eighth-grader. He transferred to Gorman midway through his freshman year and played junior varsity as a sophomore.
As a junior, Wilson became the Gaels’ starting punter and backup place-kicker, and he had a school-record 62-yard punt against Servite (Calif.).
Last season, Wilson averaged 39.2 yards per punt while being named first-team All-Southwest League. He also was 4-for-6 on field goals, including a 26-yarder in overtime that helped Gorman edge nationally ranked Bingham (Utah) 23-20 on Sept. 5, and made 93 percent (84 of 90) of his extra-point attempts.
Wilson manages his condition with the help of an insulin pump and regularly checks his blood-sugar levels during practices and games. He created the Gage Wilson Foundation that donated money to the Junior Diabetes Research Fund and wants to do something similar at Lehigh.
“We’ll definitely try to keep that going,” Wilson said.
Lehigh returns a senior all-league punter and signed another incoming freshman place-kicker in February, but Wilson said he will compete for the place-kicking job as a freshman.
Wilson, who also drew interest from Yale and Princeton, is expected to double-major in computer science and business.
“I’m pretty content with how everything worked out,” he said.
■ RECENT COMMITMENTS — Arbor View senior Ryan Brown to Dominican University (Ill.) for baseball. … Sunrise Mountain senior Damon Heard to Olympic College (Wash.) and Findlay Prep senior Aleksa Novakovic to Eastern Illinois for men’s basketball. … Centennial senior Karina Brandon to Salt Lake Community College, Arbor View senior Kelsey Rasore to Morton College (Ill.) and Faith Lutheran senior Haley Vinson to Western State Colorado for women’s basketball. … Foothill senior Andrew Chu to Dixie State (Utah), Green Valley senior Mason Comastro to Aurora University (Ill.) and Boulder City senior Luke Logan to North Idaho College for men’s golf. … Shadow Ridge senior Lindsay Irwin and Foothill senior Jilian Vigil to Northwest College (Wyo.) for women’s soccer. … Liberty senior Roza Allen to College of Southern Nevada for women’s volleyball.
Contact reporter David Schoen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidSchoenLVRJ.