FORK UNION, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Will Stupalsky wanted to be a baseball player when he arrived at Fork Union Military Academy as a freshman. Now a senior, Stupalsky will graduate in a few weeks with a Division I track scholarship.
An emotional Stupalsky received a standing ovation from his teammates during a brief signing ceremony at FUMA's Estes Center on Wednesday morning. Stupalsky is joining a South Dakota track program that finished 27th at last spring's NCAA Championships, and began this year ranked No. 38 nationally by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
After Wednesday's ceremony, FUMA assistant track coach Steve McCoy called Stupalsky "a true competitor."
"That's going to be an exciting time for him, to be able to go to a place where he's going to be able to continue to grow and truly compete," McCoy said. "And I think that they'll continue to push him. It's definitely the right fit for Will."
"I enjoy being the underdog," Stupalsky said. "I don't want to be the best. I always want somebody to be better than me. And if I'm the best then I'm going to bring somebody else up, try to make them better than me. Because I like having competition. I like seeing people succeed."
Stupalsky is now in his fourth season with the track team at FUMA. Last spring, he helped the Blue Devils win the VISAA Division I championship by finishing first at states in the discus, third in both the triple jump and long jump, and fifth in the 200-meter hurdles.
Stupalsky committed to South Dakota after visiting the school during FUMA's spring break last month. He's training to do the decathlon for the Coyotes, in addition to the triple jump.
The decathlon is a challenge that Stupalsky is embracing.
"I probably will die a little, will die a little on the inside," he joked. "I'm training for it now, and it's honestly terrible. But to see the payoff in the future and to know that it'll take me somewhere is definitely worthwhile."