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Zaleski Wrestles His Way to His Own Design Firm

Zaleski Wrestles His Way to His Own Design Firm

By Cody Parker, Sports EditorPhoto by Stefanie Smith

Terrance Zaleski was recruited to UNCP after the wrestling coaches saw him compete in an open tournament. He had been out of collegiate wrestling competition for a couple of years at the time.

7th grade

Zaleski started wrestling in 7th grade when the football coaches told him he was too light for football.

They steered him towards the wrestling team.

“When he said wrestling team, I’m thinking WWE,” Zaleski said.

But it turns out he had a natural talent for it. Zaleski was runner-up in his state championships as a junior and won state his senior year in high school.

“I like the one-on-one aspect of it,” he said.

He was recruited to UNCG to wrestle, but after his freshman year his major program, accounting, was cut, and he was unsure of what he wanted his major to be.

A couple years of switching around left him out of wrestling eligibility and therefore a scholarship.

He kept wrestling during this time off, and decided to enter the Newberry Open. The UNCP coaching staff saw him there and began recruiting him.

At this time, Zaleski had figured out he wanted to do something with graphic design, but still had a competitive fire for wrestling.

“When I graduate will I be asking myself those would have, should have, could have questions?” Zaleski said of his desire to still compete collegiately.

Zaleski has a job lined up in Raleigh, N.C., when he graduates, but would like to pursue a Master’s degree in graphic design as well.

He has a friend who is a web and app designer and together, after they get a few years’ experience on the job, they want to open their own design firm.

He still dreams of one day qualifying for the Olympics and feels like his wrestling experience has given him tools to be successful in his career.

“That all carries over to the real world because, at the end of the day, no one is going to hold your hand, so it takes mental toughness,” he said.   

Photo by Stefanie Smith. Terrance Zaleski grapples with his teammate for control during the intrasquad meet at moonlight madness.