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Trojans' Wilburn signs to run cross country and track at Franklin

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New Castle senior Jaycee Wilburn nears the finish line of last September’s New Castle Cross Country Invitational at Memorial Park. Recently, Wilburn signed a letter of intent to run cross country and track for Franklin College starting in the 2019-20 academic year.
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Recently in the Fieldhouse, New Castle High School senior Jaycee Wilburn signed a letter of intent to run cross country and track for Franklin College beginning in the 2019-20 academic year. In the front row, left to right, are grandmother Ruth Burd, Jaycee Wilburn, and mother Jodi Baker. In the back row, left to right, are NCHS cross country and track Assistant Coach Andy Carter and NCHS cross country and track Head Coach Sean Kennedy.

By DAVID RISLEY - drisley@thecouriertimes.com

Another New Castle High School senior athlete has decided to attend Franklin College and compete in intercollegiate athletics, but this time the sport is not football but another one.

Trojan Jaycee Wilburn recently inked a letter of intent to run cross country in the fall and track & field in the spring for the Grizzlies starting in the 2019-20 academic year.

"I really like to run, Franklin is pretty close to home so I can come back to visit, and I just like the atmosphere down there," Wilburn said of his choice of Franklin. "I think it will be a pretty good fit for me."

Wilburn has had a nice career at New Castle High School, running cross country in the fall and track in the spring, and was asked which one is his favorite.

"I like the atmosphere in cross country when you're out just running in the field," Wilburn remarked, "but as for the racing, I like track batter. I run the 800 and want to continue to do that in college."

Wilburn knows he must also be a student in college and was asked what his course of study might be.

"I'm thinking of majoring in business," Wilburn remarked, "but I'm not sure which field yet. I also have some interest in athletic training, so I might do something with that, too."

Wilburn also has been successful for the Fierce Martial Arts team in New Castle and has some interest in continuing that.

"The nice thing about my sports and martial arts is that I can do all three and not have to give up a sport," Wilburn stated. "Martial arts is year-round. I might come back to New Castle to train once a week, but there's a place in Indianapolis that's a little closer in Indianapolis that I may join to do martial arts.

Wilburn may incorporate that interest into a career.

"A goal of mine is to own my own martial arts school and teach martial arts," Wilburn noted. "If that  doesn't work out, then I might become an athletic trainer."

New Castle High School cross country and track Head Coach Sean Kennedy feels Wilburn has made an excellent college choice.

"I graduated from Franklin, so I might be a bit prejudiced," Kennedy said, "but Franklin provides a lot of opportunities for Jaycee. It has a really good cross country and track program, the academics are top-notch, and it's close to Indianapolis that can provide some internships and job opportunities for him. I believe he can handle the college distances and demands and will have an excellent career there and graduate with a fine degree."