For hometown kid Nathan Wilson, his life growing up in Newcastle has centered on sports, love of the outdoors, and working with his hands.  

During his career at Newcastle School, Wilson ran track, played on the six-man football team and was a standout student in the vocational agriculture program. While he enjoys the demanding aspects of math that force him to work out the problem, he enjoys working with his hands more.  

Wilson's favorite class is vocational agriculture, and his favorite teacher is Wayne Bullock, who has taught him all four years and said that he enjoyed seeing a change in Wilson around his sophomore and junior years.   

“When he was a freshman he was silly like other kids, but over the years he has matured and has become a real leader,” Bullock said. 

Regularly throughout the year, the ag program travels to agricultural mechanics competitions to showcase their talents, and while Mr. Bullock always saw Nathan's talents, he wasn't sure initially if he would be able to step up and compete.  

“I took a shot in the dark on Nathan and put him on one of my teams, and while I thought I could see inside his capabilities, I took a gamble on him and he over exceeded my expectations,” Bullock said. “He'll step up to the plate and go beyond what you ask him to do. He'll think outside the box, and I've really been pleased with his work ethic.” 

Wilson grew up in the shadow of his idol, his Dad, Lawrence Wilson, a football defensive end. At a young age, he found himself tossing the football around either in the open field with his buddies or playing flag football in a youth league. 

Read the entire story in Wednesday's Graham Leader.