Ed Shockley grew up wrestling and playing baseball and football.

When he was 12, his father, also named Ed, gave him a choice.

The father told his son that he had a choice to make. He could be good at three sports or excel at two sports.

"He told me to pick two sports," Shockley said.

The younger Shockley answered that he would play baseball and football.

"Wrong answer," the father said.

The elder Shockley knew what he was talking about. His son is one of the top football players and wrestlers in South Jersey.

A 6-foot, 222-pound linebacker, Shockley made 110 tackles and had five sacks, two interceptions and forced fumble last fall. The Thunderbolts finished 8-3 and reached the South Jersey Group V semifinals. He will play football at Villanova on a scholarship.

In wrestling, he has more than 100 career wins. Shockley led the Thunderbolts to the S.J. Group IV playoffs. The 195-pounder is 30-0 this season.

Shockley, 18, lives in Millville with his mother, Marrisol Santiago. He spends his summers in Cape May with his father.

In a telephone interview Thursday morning, Shockley spoke about a number of topics, including his summer job at Cappy's Seaside Pizza & Steaks in Cape May.

On what sport is his favorite: Football is my favorite. I've had a passion for it every since I was younger. Wrestling is something I started to do to help me with football.

On an average day at Millville High School: I like the atmosphere. It's a small town. Everyone knows everyone. It's kind of like one big family in a way

On what high school sports means to Millville: It's a huge part of the town. You can walk into a store and have strangers come up to you and talk about their football days and how they still go to games on Friday nights. It's a sports town. You have people you've never even seen before - older people and younger kids - congratulating you on good games. It's a definitely a sports town and I like that.

On playing football at 220 pounds and wrestling at 195 pounds: The first couple of weeks (of losing weight) are tough. You can't go out and pig out. That first 10 pounds is probably the toughest mentally. I do a lot of workouts. I lose a lot of weight in the wrestling room, and then I come home and I eat right. I'll have a glass of water and a salad with no dressing or chicken breast. At times it's tough but you have to think long term about the greater good.

On why he chose Villanova: They have good football and good academics. The academics were a big reason why I chose them. Football is going to end some day and I need something to fall back on. Villanova is one of the best degrees you can have. I'm thinking about majoring in criminal justice with a minor in sociology. I want to be in the Drug Enforcement Administration.

On the start of the individual wrestling tournament next weekend: We turn the corner on the regular season. Now you're more focused on doing what you need to do to get ready.

On his summer job: I make the pizzas (at Cappy's Seaside Pizza & Steaks). I picked it up pretty fast. I've been working there the past four or five years. It's all really good, but I think my favorite pizza is the Buffalo chicken.

Contact Michael McGarry:

609-272-7185