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Swiss Army Knife; Hicks shines as three-sport athlete

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, July 7, 2018
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Best of Sports 2017-2018: Male Athlete of the Year

Wilson Hicks

Wilson Hicks. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

When the last bell rang to release classes for summer on May 24, Decatur junior Wilson Hicks finally got to do something he had not done all year.

Go home.

For the past 10 months, Hicks spent the majority of his time after school practicing or working out with the football, basketball or baseball team. As the starting quarterback, leading scorer and No. 1 pitcher, Hicks has become a staple in the Decatur athletic program.

“It’s absolutely crazy to me to think how much time he’s put into all these sports and how good he does in all of them,” said Decatur basketball coach Drew Coffman. “He’s unbelievable.”

For the second straight year, Hicks is the Wise County Male Athlete of the Year. He is just the second person to win the award in consecutive years, joining fellow Eagle, Taylor Clayton, in 2013 and 2014.

Hicks was a second-team District 4-4A Division I selection at quarterback and honorable mention on the Associated Press’ 4A all-state team. He threw for 3,887 yards and 37 touchdowns, helping the Eagles reach the third round of the playoffs for the first time since 2013.

In basketball, Hicks was Decatur’s leading scorer, averaging 14.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. He was a District 9-4A first-team selection.

On the mound, Hicks led the Eagles to the region quarterfinal, giving up just seven earned runs all season. He hit .380 and was named the 9-4A Offensive MVP.

The 6-3 lefty has committed to play baseball at Oklahoma State University.

Every year is a grind, but Hicks has learned over time how to multi-task.

“Toward the end of one season going into the next, whenever I have to do two sports at a time, that’s when it starts to get overwhelming,” Hicks said. “It’s always hard, but I have a good work [ethic] for myself so I’m able to juggle all three. I’ve learned as the years go on what I need to do for each sport, preparing for the next season.”

Although Hicks rarely gets to rest during the school year, Decatur athletic director and head football coach Mike Fuller said Hicks’ tireless work ethic is why he is so successful.

“He’s been fun to coach and he’s been fun to watch,” Fuller said. “I believe one of the things that makes him good at each sport is the fact he plays the other two at a high level and is competing year-round. He’s a smart player and learns quickly. Whatever the scheme might be, he’s on top of it.”

Despite his rigorous schedule, Fuller, Coffman and Decatur baseball coach Tommy Maddox raved about Hicks’ poise. No matter the situation, all three coaches are confident Hicks will deliver.

And he has, time and time again.

“He’s always in those situations and he really never takes a break from being in those situations,” Maddox said. “He plays positions that are very high-level, high-stress type positions. He’s had to learn how to be comfortable in those positions and he gets a lot of practice at it because he’s always in them.”

Hicks has been around athletics most of his life.

His father, Larry, has been the assistant basketball coach at Decatur since 2011. He was previously the head coach at Alvord and Decatur. Hicks’ brother, Parker, plays basketball at Texas Tech University and averaged 31.3 points per game during his senior season at Decatur.

While sports are an integral part of Wilson’s life, he still finds time for his friends and school work.

“He doesn’t have a break all school year,” said 2017 all-state Decatur offensive lineman Ty Watson. “I’m pretty positive he’s top 10 percent [academically]. How he keeps his grades up and how he keeps a social life is amazing to me. He’s a great friend.”

Wilson admittedly holds himself to a high standard.

In 2016 when he took over the starting quarterback job, Wilson said he felt a little pressure. After being inserted in the middle of a 52-50 loss to Midlothian Heritage, Wilson went out the following week and threw seven touchdowns in a 61-35 rout of Stephenville.

Ever since, the nerves have been few and far between.

“As I’ve matured and gotten older, it’s not so much pressure.” Wilson said. “I believe in myself and that I’m going to be able to do whatever I want to. I have high expectations for myself that I hold myself up to. I understand how the games work now.”

With one year left at Decatur, Wilson has already set a high bar for himself in 2018-2019.

His goal for his senior year is to make all-state in all three sports -football, basketball and baseball. Wilson knows it will be difficult, but ask anyone around Decatur, and they’ll tell you if anyone can do it, it’s Wilson Hicks.

“He leads by his actions. People see that, and they want to be like him,” Watson said. “I’m going to miss him a lot. He’s the best person at Decatur High School – and I don’t say that lightly.”

Wilson Hicks Inset

Wilson Hicks. Messenger photos by Joe Duty

WISE COUNTY MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR RECIPIENTS

2010: Tim Fleming, Boyd
2011: Toi Glover, Paradise
2012: Jared Cate, Boyd
2013: Taylor Clayton, Decatur
2014: Taylor Clayton, Decatur
2015: Joe Randall, Alvord
2016: Kennan Holdman, Bridgeport
2017: Wilson Hicks, Decatur
2018: Wilson Hicks, Decatur

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