But the Gordon Central wrestler isn’t just a strong athlete; he is also a guy’s guy and the funny man of the team.
“My name is Steven, but everyone calls me Biscuit,” he says laughing and running his hand through his shaved in cornrows.
Kilpatrick first got his nickname when he was the only white kid playing on a traveling football team in middle school.
“They started calling me cracker, and I really didn’t like it that much so they asked me if they could call me biscuit.
It just stuck,” Kilpatrick said.
While Kilpatrick has developed a reputation of being the funny guy on the team, behind his eyes is a focus so intense it blurs out all else.
“I am looking to be a state qualifier this year,” Kilpatrick said.
Kilpatrick began wrestling
after football season ended his sixth-grade year, as an effort to stay in shape.
“I quickly fell in love with it,” he said.
That love drew Kilpatrick in, and gave him strength to turn the trials in his life into motivation on the mat.
“What drew me to wrestling,
really, was the mental toughness you have to have,” Kilpatrick said. “I feel like having your head on right and pushing yourself, not only makes you a better person, it makes you a better leader.”
And lead he does, Kilpatrick is the team captain
for the Gordon County wrestling team. He plays two roles, friend and chief, laughing
with his teammates one minute and then directing them in practice the next.
“I have really learned how to push the wrestlers and get the best out of them without seaming like it’s a dictatorship,”
Kilpatrick learned many of his leadership skills last summer when he underwent training to become a senior mentor.
“Steven has done an excellent job of mentoring ninth grade students, and he is one of the people I can always depend on to go above and beyond what is asked of him,” said Nancy Ratcliffe, graduation coach and mentor program director. “He leads by example, and his ‘servant leadership’ attitude will go far toward enlisting the help he will need to be successful after high school.”
For now Kilpatrick is focusing on the success of his high school wrestling career and the success of his team.
Kilpatrick said that before each match he focuses on relaxing.
“Before each match I will go through each move mentally.
I will sit down before every match and have a long talk with my mom and my grandma before every match, and just get very calm,” Kilpatrick said.
And when the match is over, Kilpatrick sustains his mix of both mental serenity
and toughness as he goes about his daily life. After his grueling practice schedule is complete, Kilpatrick works at Gordon Central High as part of the maintenance crew.
“It is tough to go to school all day, and then go to practice and then work,” Kilpatrick said.
His do-what-need-to-be-done attitude is what drove Kilpatrick to wrestle to begin with, and it is the driving
force behind his future plans. After graduation he will attend Georgia Southern where he will study psychology.
“It is about having to understand people and get on their level,” Kilpatrick said. “I focus a lot on people.”