Pratt Community College wrestler Dy'Juan Carney has made his official decision to continue his academic and athletic career after his days at PCC end. Carney has signed to wrestle at Fort Hays State University with academic and athletic scholarships to provide for the rest of his collegiate career.
Carney is from Tallahassee, Florida and was a 2015 Florida High School Athletic Association state tournament placer and a 2015 Walt Disney Duals All-American coming out of Wakulla High School. He was also at the top of his class academically with an outstanding GPA of 4.3, ranked 31stin his class out of 264.
Carney had a very up and down Freshman season for the Beavers in 2015-16. He only compiled nine wins in a season plagued with injuries that held him back from competing. Carney ended up winning enough matches to take fifth place at the 2016 NJCAA West Central District Qualifier to qualify for the 2016 NJCAA National Wrestling Tournament. He was a part of the NJCAA Academic Team of the Year at the National Tournament and the NJCAA Academic Team of the Year for the entire 2015-16 season. Carney finished the year as a National Qualifier with a 3.45 GPA and two national team awards.
During the pre-season, Carney was at the head of the pack and becoming a fierce leader for the Blue and White. He moved up a weight class to 141 lbs. and started out ranked seventh in the nation.
Carney had a stellar sophomore season wheeling off 26 wins on the season, and placed third at the 2017 West Central District Qualifier. His third place finish once again qualified for the 2017 NJCAA National Wrestling Tournament. Carney did something that not a lot of wrestlers have done in Pratt's history, going to the national tournament in both of his years for the Beavers. For the second year in a row and for the first time in school history, he helped lead the Pratt Wrestling Program to another NJCAA Academic Team of the Year at the National Tournament Award with a 3.45 Team GPA. With his Leadership, this would have never been possible.
"It is what it is," PCC wrestling Coach Ken Kepley said. "I do not summarize his career with any accolades other than how much he has grown as an adult and as a student-athlete at PCC. His success the past two years goes beyond any national championship. I am very proud of him."
When the time came to decide on his future, he decided to join former teammate and 2015-16 NJCAA All-American Micah Felton at Fort Hays State University. The Tigers just finished 11thin the nation at the NCAA Division II National Wrestling Tournament.
"Dy'Juan (Carney) is a great kid," Fort Hays Coach Chas Thompson said. "I think he will be a great addition to this program."
Carney has been a leader and a teammate on and off the mat during his time at PCC. Not only is he known within the athletic department, but held active roles around campus. Carney was a work study for numerous departments, a residential advisor for the housing department, a tutor for numerous subjects, and a part of the Kappa Beta Delta, and an active member of Phi Theta Kappa. Carney is majoring in accounting and already has an internship back in Tallahassee starting this summer.
"I'm just plain proud of this kid," Kepley said. "He is what you want. His story will always be told to anyone and everyone. It needs to spread. You have a vision? Then go do it. Nothing should stand in your way. I will not like competing against him the next few years, but it will be great to see him. I feel like a part of me is leaving PCC. And no matter what, I was not the reason he is successful. He is. This institution is. This community is. We raised him and got him there! Everyone was a part of this. Student success, faculty, staff, maintenance, everyone! Now it is time to find the next DJ."
Carney reflects on his time at PCC with fondness while looking towards the future.
"I was beyond blessed to have received the opportunity to go to school at Pratt," Carney said. "Not only to better my education, but a chance to better my life. I wouldn't have made it to Pratt without the love and support from all the teachers and coaches at Wakulla High. They got me on the road to success, and I wouldn't have gotten this far if it wasn't for Coach Kepley, Dr. Calvert and the rest of the PCC staff. Honestly, coming to Pratt was one of the best decisions I ever made. It was my home away from home. Everyone here has been nothing less than great to me. I made some lifelong friends, learned some lifelong lessons, and made memories that will last forever. I loved my time here at Pratt, and I would like to thank everyone who helped me on my journey, because it's not over yet."