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Sports

December 26, 2013

specialization debate

Two Hillie standouts: Chretien feeds off football, Millington focuses on wrestling

The great debate for wrestling, as in other sports, is ongoing.

Is it better to specialize and, in the case of wrestling, work out and compete 12 months a year, or would it be better to take time off while remaining competitive in another sport?

There may be no correct answer as one can see, at least so far, in the case of standout Haverhill sophomores Luc Chretien and Reece Millington.

Chretien, the Hillies’ 182-pounder is also a superb football player and he spends a lot of his time and passion gearing for the gridirion season, while Millington is completely focused on wrestling.

In general, veteran Haverhill coach Brian Urquhart prefers the path taken by Chretien, especially since there is such a strong link between football and wrestling, but he won’t say that the direction taken by Millington is misguided.

“I’ve always been a three-sport type of guy,” said Urquhart. “I think it’s good to stay fresh, stay competitive. (Haverhill junior) Samie (Al-Ziab) is the perfect example. He does football and wrestling and does them both well. And I’m pretty sure that helps him.

“But there are exceptions and Reece is probably one of them. He’s just totally committed to wrestling and is able to keep at it. Not everyone can.”

Thus far, Millington does seem able to stay focused on wrestling, with virtually no break. Since the sixth grade, when he began wrestling on the insistence of his parents, he’s been going at it nearly nonstop, including intensive training at The Barn in Danville, N.H.

“Sometimes it’s a little bit of a grind, but I don’t think about other sports,” said Millington, whose uncle, Mike, wrestled at Haverhill and UNH. “I like the workouts. My first couple of years, I might have taken a month or two off, but not anymore.

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