Langston Mayrant etched his name into New Waverly sports history earlier this year, as he became Walker County’s first wrestling state champion.

Now, he plans to bring the same dedication he brought for years on the mat into a career of serving his country.

Mayrant will be heading off to the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York later this summer, with plans to study logistics and security. And in addition to launching his service career, he’ll also have the chance to wrestle for the academy.

“My family has been in military service and stuff like that for multiple generations, which is something that really stuck with me and I wanted to continue,” Mayrant said. “A service academy was the no-brainer choice as far as the next level goes. When the Merchant Marine Academy became interested and I started to look at what they have to offer, I realized they were the best option to continue that desire for service in the best way I possibly could.

“Plus it provided a very good opportunity to continue doing the thing I love, which is wrestling.”

Mayrant knew he wanted to pursue a career in public service for as long as he can remember. However, his decision to join the military came about fairly recently.

As a sophomore, Mayrant watched his cousin, Justin Mayrant, graduate and start his Army career. After picking his cousin’s brain, his decision to go into the military was solidified.

“I always knew I wanted to do service in some fashion, whether it was military or something else, but it wasn't until I watched my cousin go through graduating and doing his thing that I really decided that the military is where I wanted to go,” Mayrant said.

“Him going through that allowed me to be in contact with some really great men, and I realized that was the kind of man that I wanted to be.”

With his arrival date at the academy set for July 9, Mayrant is obviously excited about the next chapter in his journey. Right now, however, he’s making the most of his final weeks at home.

“Making sure I spend the necessary time with my family,” Mayrant said is his greatest focus right now. “It's very easy for kids, especially kids graduating high school, to get kind of stir crazy and want to get out into the real world. I'm definitely feeling that, but this time isn't my time. It's my family's time, and I owe it to them to make the most of it.”