Alyssa Pointer
Multimedia Journalist

Coach Ron Wilson, head coach of the Bowen High School wrestling team, watches as members of his team race down the hallway of the second floor of Bowen High School during wrestling practice, Wednesday, January 11, 2017, in South Chicago. (Alyssa Pointer/

Coach Ron Wilson, head coach of the Bowen High School wrestling team, watches as members of his team race down the hallway of the second floor of Bowen High School during wrestling practice, Wednesday, January 11, 2017,

Ron Wilson started coaching wrestling at Bowen High School in 2000. 

Growing up, Wilson wrestled in grade school through the Chicago Parks District. He competed all through high school and received recognition as state runner-up during his senior year. 

Ron was as a young, fatherless teen growing up in Chicago's South Side. He knows the struggles that the students on his team face, first hand. Instead of allowing his wrestlers to succumb to their circumstances, Wilson teaches them that any obstacle can be overcome. 

The wrestling team has gained notable traction since Wilson revived it. The program currently boasts three consecutive regional championships, with an additional win during the 2017 season.

When Wilson is not coaching at the school he stays busy working as a firefighter on Chicago's West side. 

Bowen wrestling Coach Ron Wilson demonstrates a wrestling move for freshman Ayonida Fasanlu [cq], right, during wrestling practice at Bowen high school, Monday, January 30, 2017, in South Chicago. (Alyssa Pointer/ Chicago Tribune) ...

Coach Wilson demonstrates a wrestling move for freshman Ayonida Fasanlu, right, during wrestling practice at Bowen high school.

A member of the the wrestling team runs past head coach Ron Wilson, as Wilson waits for the rest of his team to complete the trek of running throughout the hallways of Bowen high school during wrestling practice, January 11, 2017, in South Chicago. (Alyss

Coach Wilson waits for the rest of his team to complete the trek of running throughout the hallways of Bowen high school during wrestling practice.

A group of girls talk amongst themselves as Bowen high school varsity wrestler Walter Temple races down the hallway of the second floor during wrestling practice at Bowen high school, Wednesday, January 11, 2017, in South Chicago. (Alyssa Pointer/ Chicago

A group of girls talk amongst themselves as Bowen high school varsity wrestler Walter Temple races down the hallway of the second floor during wrestling practice at Bowen high school.

Senior Marshawn Walker[cq] catches his breath after racing with his teammates on the second floor of Bowen high school during wrestling practice, Wednesday, January 11, 2017, in South Chicago. Despite his talents on the mat, Marshawn plans on joining the

Senior Marshawn Walker catches his breath after racing with his teammates on the second floor of Bowen high school during wrestling practice, Wednesday, January 11, 2017, in South Chicago. Despite his talents on the mat, Marshawn plans on joining the Army following his graduation from Bowen.

Junior Marquis Paino, bottom left, relaxes as his team members fight playfully during a light wrestling practice at Bowen high school, Wednesday, January 25, 2017, in South Chicago. Bowen wrestling coach, Ron Wilson, promised the members of the wrestling

Junior Marquis Paino, bottom left, relaxes as his team members fight playfully during a light wrestling practice at Bowen high school. 

Coach Wilson records the weight of each team member after practice at Bowen High School, Thursday, February 2, 2017, in South Chicago. Each weight is recorded before and after practice in order to ensure the wrestlers are making an effort to keep their we

Coach Wilson records the weight of each team member after practice at Bowen High School, Thursday, February 2, 2017, in South Chicago. Each weight is recorded before and after practice in order to ensure the wrestlers are making an effort to keep their weight on the mark.

"My coach told me a long time ago that an un-coachable kid becomes an unemployable kid." - Ron Wilson

Coach Ron Wilson, left, yells commands to one of his team members during the start of a regular season conference tri-meet against Hyde Park Academy High School and Chicago High School for Agricultural Science in the Bowen High School gym, Thursday, Decem

Coach Wilson, left, yells commands to one of his team members during the start of a regular season conference tri-meet against Hyde Park Academy High School and Chicago High School for Agricultural Science in the Bowen High School gym. 

Bowen varsity wrestler Traysi Monden [cq], right, competes against Mitchell Evans of  Harlan Community Academy High School during the IHSA 1A regional tournament, Saturday, February 4, 2017, at Bowen High School in South Chicago. Monden lost this match an

Bowen varsity wrestler Traysi Monden, right, competes against Mitchell Evans of Harlan Community Academy High School during the IHSA 1A regional tournament, Saturday, February 4, 2017, at Bowen High School in South Chicago.

Bowen high school varsity wrestling team members Marcelle Cooper [cq], from left, Dale Hensley[cq], Marquis Paino[cq], David Jordan[cq], and Louis Brentley[cq] watch and react to a wrestling match during the IHSA 1A regional championship tournament, Satur

Bowen high school varsity wrestling team members Marcelle Cooper, from left, Dale Hensley, Marquis Paino, David Jordan, and Louis Brentley watch and react to a wrestling match during the IHSA 1A regional tournament in the Bowen High School gym, Saturday, February 4, 2017, in South Chicago.

Bowen varsity wrestlers Dale Hensley beats his chest with confidence after winning his match and receiving 1st place in his weight class during the IHSA 1A regional championship. (Alyssa Pointer/Chicago Tribune)

Bowen varsity wrestlers Dale Hensley beats his chest with confidence after winning his match and receiving 1st place in his weight class during the IHSA 1A regional championship. 

Bowen wrestling head coach, Ron Wilson, talks to varsity wrestler, Nashawn Knight [cq], after Nashawn did not perform at his best during the preliminary match at the IHSA 1A regional championship tournament in the Bowen High School gym, Saturday, February

Bowen wrestling head coach, Ron Wilson, talks to varsity wrestler, Nashawn Knight, after Nashawn did not perform at his best during the preliminary match at the IHSA 1A regional championship tournament. Despite his performance, Nashawn proceeded to the final round of the competition but fell short of first place.

"I would rather see kids in college than see them in jail," said Bowen High School Wrestling coach Ron Wilson. "We need to turn that cycle. All sports do that, but my forte is wrestling. I'm going to bring them through that way."

Bowen senior varsity wrestler Walter Temple [cq] brushes Coach Ron Wilson's hair before the team re-enters the Bowen High School gym, with an opportunity to place 1st in IHSA 1A regional championship tournament, Saturday, February 4, 2017, in South Chicag

Bowen senior varsity wrestler Walter Temple brushes Coach Ron Wilson's hair before the team re-enters the Bowen High School gym, with an opportunity to place 1st in IHSA 1A regional championship tournament. "Make sure I look good," Wilson said as he joked with Temple.

Bowen varsity wrestling team members Cameron White, from left, Dale Hensley[cq] and Ayonida Fasanlu[cq] react as their team member, Louis Brantley [cq] dances to a song during a brief intermission  at the IHSA 1A regional tournament in the Bowen High Scho

Bowen varsity wrestling team members Cameron White, from left, Dale Hensley and Ayonida Fasanlu react as their team member, Louis Brantley dances to a song during a brief intermission at the IHSA 1A regional tournament in the Bowen High School gym.

Bowen varsity wrestler Nashawn Knight[cq] sits in the locker room after losing his final match during the IHSA 1A regional championship at Bowen High School, Saturday, February 4, 2017, in South Chicago. Nashawn received second place in his weight class.

Bowen varsity wrestler Nashawn Knight sits in the locker room after losing his final match during the IHSA 1A regional championship at Bowen High School. Nashawn received second place in his weight class.

"This is my baby," Bowen varsity wrestler Marshawn Walker[cq], right, says as he holds the 2017 IHSA 1A wrestler regional championship placard to his chest while his teammate, Dale Hensley [cq] asks for a hug following the win  at Bowen High school, Satur

"This is my baby," Bowen varsity wrestler Marshawn Walker, right, says as he holds the 2017 IHSA 1A wrestler regional championship placard to his chest while his teammate, Dale Hensley asks for a hug following the win at Bowen High school, Saturday, February 4, 2017, in South Chicago. Both Walker and Hensley won first place in their weight class and will accompany their team to compete in sectionals and the team state tournament.

The team celebrates after winning first place in the (Alyssa Pointer/Chicago Tribune)

The team celebrates after winning first place in the IHSA 1A regional championship tournament.

Members of the Bowen High School wrestling team strain as they push their wrestling mat into the hallway following the end of the IHSA 1A regional championship tournament Feb. 4, 2017. The team won first place at the regional tournament and will advance t

Members of the Bowen High School wrestling team roll their wrestling mat into the hallway following the end of the IHSA 1A regional championship tournament Feb. 4, 2017. The team won first place at the regional tournament and will advance to compete at the state championship. For the seniors on the team, this was bittersweet moment. 

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