Corey Wilding – Waldie/Shaeffer Finalist
Military a way of life for USC’s Corey Wilding
Corey Wilding of Upper St. Clair knows plenty about the military and the prestigious Waldie/Shaeffer Scholarship Award, instituted by The Almanac in 2002.
Wilding received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy. Ken Waldie and Kevin Shaeffer both graduated from Annapolis. Waldie captained Bethel Park High School to WPIAL titles in swimming. He perished on Sept. 11, 2001, a passenger aboard the first plane to strike the World Trade Center. Shaeffer led Peters Township to back-to-back state championships in soccer. He was working in the Pentagon when it was struck. Though he suffered severe burns and multiple internal injuries, Shaeffer survived.
Wilding’s brother, Austin, won the Waldie/Shaeffer Award in 2012. He currently attends the United States Military Academy at West Point.
“It’s such an honor for me to be considered for this award because of what it stands for. To be considered in a similar sense as my brother and Mr. Waldie and Mr. Shaeffer says a lot,” said the 18-year-old son of Jim and Carla Wilding. “I only hope that I can do as much as they have done for our country.”
At Upper St. Clair High School, Wilding has done plenty that would predicate an illustrious future.
Athletically, he has experienced success that rivals the achievements of Mr. Waldie’s and Mr. Shaeffer’s. Wilding, too, is a state champion.
Last autumn, he helped the Panthers win the PIAA team golf title in record fashion. USC also won the WPIAL district championship. In addition, in two seasons, he and his teammates raised thousands of dollars for colon-rectal cancer research, as well as autism, through the Birdies For A Cause program.
Wilding also wrestled for the Panthers. A member of the school’s 100-win club, he is a four-time WPIAL qualifier. The Allegheny County champion was a two-time team captain. Wilding will continue to wrestle while majoring in engineering at Navy.
Elected homecoming king, Wilding maintains a 4.6 QPA. Recognized as a Student of the Year in past years, Wilding is a member of the National Honor Society as well as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. With his friend, Carlton Gibson, he also began raising awareness and money to fight malaria in Africa through the charitable organization Nothing But Nets.
According to his coaches, Wilding is a great leader and role model on the course and the mat. But, he also sets a great example in the classroom for other students.
Wilding knows all his accomplishments would not be possible where it not for men like his brother, Mr. Waldie and Mr. Shaeffer.
“Growing up in the United States, we have so many opportunities. People have given their lives for our right to say anything we want and do anything we want,” said Wilding, who has five other siblings: D.J., 18; Brook, 17; Hannah, 15; Lydia, 14, and Mary, 13.
“In this country, we have been given so many freedoms because of people willing to fight and defend our rights. Now, I’d like to do the same thing.”