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Football Wilson

FEATURE: Wilson Football’s  Ian Bond Going To MIT

The562’s coverage of Long Beach Wilson Athletics is sponsored by Joel Bitonio, Class of 2009.

Ian Bond called his shot.

As a precocious, active kid growing up in Long Beach with a penchant for mathematics, Bond remembers many adults asking him what he wanted to do after high school.

“When people would ask me if I wanted to go to college, I would say I wanted to go to MIT because it was like one of the only (elite math) colleges I knew,” said Bond. “But you kind of say it for fun, right? I want to go to Harvard, or I want to go to Yale. It is kind of like a dream school.”

Bond’s dream is coming true this year as he graduates from Wilson and heads to the Massachusetts Institute Of Technology in a few months.

“But now that I know that I’m in, saying that is still unbelievable,” he added. “Even though I’ve been there twice, I don’t think it will click until I start going there in the fall.”

Not only is Bond going to one of the most prolific think tanks in the world, he’s also plans to continue his athletic career and play quarterback for the MIT football team.

Bond acknowledges his hard work is paying off, but is quick to credit his family for guidance and support in the classroom and on the playing field. He made sure his mom Valerie and dad Phillip were there with him when he opened the acceptance letter in December.

“That was a really big moment in all of our lives,” Valerie said.

“It was a ton of celebration and a little relief,” Bond added.

Older sister Meredith was coming back from Notre Dame University, and Bond’s fraternal twin brother Andrew was at a track meet, but they were on the phone to join the celebrations. Andrew also excels in math and will attend Amherst College where he will play football.

“It’s pretty special growing up together and now it’s all coming true at the end,” Andrew said of completing his high school career alongside his brother. “We’re also going to schools in Massachusetts that are about an hour and half away from each other. We can further our relationship through sports, school and socially. I’m really excited.”

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The Bond brothers were involved in everything athletic from a young age and stayed busy at home with homework and an immersive LEGGO collection.

“Originally we thought, ‘Stick to one sport’ but I think it was building a routine and keeping them busy that taught them from an early age time management skills,” Valarie said. “We made it a priority to really keep busy and be active. They were really easy kids to raise because they were interested in a lot (of activities).”

Bond loved the nonstop action of soccer and excelled all over the field while playing with his brother. When they got to Wilson it was natural for Bond to be the quarterback and Andrew to be the wide receiver. Almost 30 percent of Bond’s passing yardage as a junior went to Andrew. They also play the trumpet and cello, respectively, as part of the Wilson music program.

No matter how many activities pulled them in different directions, the most important thing was never in question for the Bonds.

“Education was number one,” Bond said. “My parents made that clear from the start. As long as schooling was going well they would support anything else I would do. Grades were the foundation.”

“It’s organization and communication,” Andrew said of academic success. “If you have those things down you can really succeed in combining whatever interests you have.”

The twins got another chance to celebrate their accomplishments at the Wilson athletic assembly earlier this week. 

“It was a joint effort,” Bond said. “It wasn’t just me putting in the work. We kind of had each other as a support system. In class and in sports. Without his help I can honestly say that I don’t know if I would be in the same position now.”

Valerie is a Long Beach native who moved her family back home so her children could attend her alma mater Wilson.

“We’re incredibly thankful for the experience we’ve had in Long Beach and this community, that’s for dang sure,” she said. “Particularly in sports.”

The 6’3” 210-pound showed his maturity and leadership in his senior football season when he moved from quarterback to wing back because of the team’s needs.

“I embraced it and tried to be a leader as much as I could there,” Bond said. “That was probably one of the most difficult things I had to do in sports.”

“He just really loves his teammates and I couldn’t be happier to see him have a chance to keep playing the game,” Phillip said.

Wilson soccer coach CJ Brewer was the same storing characteristics shown on his team.

“Ian is the most coachable kid on any team and it doesn’t matter who the coach is. He respects the boss and listens to the boss and does what he says,” Brewer said. “You wish you could clone that amongst the players. He’s got that preloaded. it came from his parents.”

“Just help unleash it,” Valerie said of raising gifted children. “It goes deep and far beyond the classroom. They have inquisitive minds.”

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JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.