At 6 years old, he raked in five hours each per week playing basketball at the Boys & Girls Club of Fullerton and soccer in the Fullerton Rangers Youth Soccer Club.
At age 9, he began playing for the Fullerton Pop Warner football team.
Then at age 17, he and his teammates brought the CIF-Southern Section Division 8 championship back to Sunny Hills High School.
“Playing sports started at a very early age for me, and there are pictures of me as a 3- or 4-year-old running around the back yard with a football,” senior Wilson Cal said.
As a defensive back and wide receiver for the Sunny Hills football team, the senior first joined the program during his freshman year and later got elevated to the varsity team’s starting lineup the ensuing year.
“[By joining the varsity team,] I’ve put on a lot of good weight, gotten faster, gotten smarter and just developed into the player that I am today,” Cal said.
During his last season playing football for the team, the Lancers not only won the CIF-Southern Section Division 8 Championship — a title that has been unclaimed in almost 27 years — but also reached the CIF State Division 3 regional game against Bakersfield Christian.
“It’s an amazing feeling, [and] I still can’t even put it into words,” said Cal, who sealed the CIF Division 8 victory with an interception at the end of the game. “It’s just special that we were able to make it happen my last year and that we’re able to play in the second round of the region final.”
Although he received offers from schools such as Western Colorado University and Brown University, Cal committed Jan. 28 to play for Azusa Pacific University’s Division 2 football program.
“The people at [Azusa Pacific University] are second to none, even with the head coach leaving,” he said. “It was the players that sold me [toward] the program.”
Following his senior season, Cal was also selected to play in the Jan. 25 Annual Orange County North vs. South All Star Game alongside two of his teammates, seniors Luke Duxbury and Jun Ahn. Their team lost 27-13.
Through his four-year career, Cal accumulated 122 catches, 1808 receiving yards, 18 receiving touchdowns, 98 tackles and nine interceptions. He was also named to the All-Freeway League Football team, All-County Football third team, All-CIF Football Division 8 team, and the All-State Football third team for medium-sized schools.
Through the early morning football practices and weight lifting sessions, Cal will not forget the crucial lessons and experiences he learned with his fellow teammates throughout his four-year career.
“I learned that you have to do your job for the guy next to you,” he said. “That guy has to trust that you’re going to do your job and have his back so he can do his.”