By TIM BIRNEY
Valley Sports Report
WAVERLY — Waverly senior Ethan Stotler will wrestle at SUNY Brockport next year, and will join a large contingent of Section IV grapplers there — many of them former travel teammates.
“I already know a lot of guys going there, from travel teams I wrestled with — Richie Knapp from Sus. Valley, Wesley Woodworth from Horseheads, and (SVEC’s) Mark Mullen,” said Stotler. “They say they really like it.
“Coach (Don) Murray, gotta love him … all the guys say they love him, and he seemed cool to me.
“I took a visit, it’s a nice campus,” added Stotler. “We’ll see how it goes”
Brockport’s roster also boasts three more Section IV wrestlers in Chris Eames of Horseheads, Matt Kline of Corning, and Reese Lockwood of Groton. Stotler notes Groton’s Kyle Willard is also a possibility for the Golden Eagles.
Waverly wrestling coach Devan Witman believes Stotler has what it takes to be successful at the next level, and is up for the challenge.
“Ethan will find success at the next level because of his pursuit to get better.
“From a young age Ethan worked himself into the wrestler he is and if he continues to put in the work he will be successful,” said Witman. “Brockport is a traditionally high level wrestling school with coaches and partners that will continue to push him.
“Ethan has never shied away from hard work,” noted Witman. “College academics and college wrestling is just another challenge Ethan will face head on and continue to work for success.”
Stotler knows he has work to do to succeed at the next level.
“I need to practice harder, practice likes it’s a match,” he said. “(At Waverly) there was nobody in the room to push me, so I kind of screwed around a little bit.
“(At Brockport), there will be a lot of competition in the practice room, so it will be much better for me,” Stotler added.
Witman said Stotler will need to improve his defense.
“Ethan needs to continue to work his leg-attack defense at the next level,” he said. “Ethan's defense in high school has been to shoot first and often.
“In college, he is going to find more wrestlers in on his legs and he will need to develop that defense so he can be successful,” added Witman.
Stotler expects there to be some bumps in the road early on.
“I’m not expecting to win a lot my freshman year,” he said. “I’ll take my lumps, do my best, and push myself.”
IN PHOTO: Waverly’s Ethan Stotler.
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