Gracie Wilson standing out on the court, the track and in the class at Southern Wesleyan

Published 6:03 am Tuesday, January 2, 2024

By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

Gracie Wilson is boundless energy, an ever-present smile and impossibly tireless, and her freshman story is just wonderful.

As a freshman volleyball player at Southern Wesleyan University in Central, S.C., the 6-2 middle blocker from Mocksville came up huge for the Warriors. She was first on the team in sets played (90), solo blocks (26), total blocks (72) and assisted blocks (44). She was second in points (203), third in kills (141) and third in ace serves (14).

That’s not all. In the 14-team Conference Carolinas rankings, Wilson was first in solo blocks, eighth in total blocks and 14th in assisted blocks. The runner-up in solo blocks was UNC Pembroke’s Ruby Countryman with 21.

Whew.

“I was looking for a tall individual who had good grades and had a good amount of potential to play at the Division-II level,” SWU coach Anna Heinz said. “I found Gracie and it’s definitely been a blessing. She definitely stepped up to the plate and filled the role that we needed. I think she started every game. She was going up against juniors and seniors; very rarely was she going up against someone in the same class as her. So for her to be able to compete at that level and excel at that level is tremendous.”

Wilson said: “I learned a whole lot from my coach and I feel like I progressed tremendously. When my coach recruited me, she said you will be a big help to this team and stuff like that, but I really did not know that I was going to be starting almost every single game.”

Wait. It gets better. Talk about a ridiculously hard worker, Wilson is also a member of the indoor and outdoor track teams, throwing the discus and the javelin. She’s also a top-notch student.

“In my recruiting process, I was offered a couple scholarships for track and for volleyball,” Wilson said. “Some schools offered me volleyball, some schools offered me track. I asked some schools if I could do both if I wanted to and all of them said no except for SWU. I talked to the coach and they offered me a spot on the (track) team.”

While two sports on top of academics is quite a workload, Wilson wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I also have to do volleyball (during track season) because volleyball has a spring training,” she said. “It’s going to be pretty busy, but I’m used to that.”

Heinz gushed about her drive (all gas, no brakes) and that sunny personality.

“One thing I love about Gracie is you’re never going to hear her complain,” Heinz said. “She’s ready for whatever you ask her to do. The track coach has spoken highly of her. It’s always fun to hear other coaches brag about your athletes, and track is very competitive at SWU. Her family is amazing. Gracie is a sweet individual who wants to do well in life and strives to be better.”

When the 2024 volleyball season rolls around, Wilson will be rejoined by a War Eagle. Davie senior Mikaylah Hutton has signed with SWU.