EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

March 25, 2014

National opportunity

Local wrestlers aim for All-American status, interest from colleges

The time to wrestle on the biggest stage yet, in the national spotlight, has arrived for a number of local wrestlers.

Wrestling in the high school nationals, which takes place in Virginia Beach Friday through Sunday for standout wrestlers of every grade, is an exciting time.

And it’s also a great opportunity.

For seniors interested in wrestling in college who haven’t yet made a decision, it’s a chance to be seen, with possible recruiting interest to follow immediately. For underclassmen, it’s an opportunity to peak interest for future years.

North Andover’s Brad Drover falls in the first category. Following a banner season in which he finished 53-0 and won the 170-pound New England title, Drover has already drawn considerable interest.

Drover has visited Division 3 Johnson and Wales and, following nationals, he has visits planned for Division 1 Edinboro and Division 2 Upper Iowa. But he’s keeping an open mind, based on how he does this week.

”I’m hoping schools reach out to me after nationals, especially Division 1 schools,” said Drover. “I’m going there to win it, but I just want to do the best I can and become an All-American (top 8).”

Drover is in a tough weight class that features five two-time state champions including rugged Austin Repp (Missouri) and Cale Wilson (Oklahoma).

Drover isn’t the only local unbeaten New England champion who will be competing at senior nationals this week, but Methuen’s Christian Monserrat (57-0) will be mainly vying to just finish as high as possible. He’s already committed to West Virginia University.

Monserrat is slated to wrestle down a weight class at 132. That could make him particularly tough, but that weight includes two other four-time state champs in Dusty Hone (Utah) and Trevor Scherner (La.).

A pair of Lawrence seniors, New England placer Anfernee Green and heavyweight Alex Lopez, both of whom might wind up at Springfield Tech, could also generate increased interest with a fine showing as could Timberlane’s Tyler Fitzpatrick.

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