The Cal Poly wrestling team announced the final eight members of its 11-man recruiting class for the upcoming year Tuesday, a group that includes a New Jersey high school state champion and five California state placewinners.
Alec Donovan, out of Brick Township Memorial High, won the 2015 New Jersey state championship at 145 pounds en route to being named Shore Conference Wrestler of the Year by NJ.com.
After compiling a high school career record of 128-23, Donovan made headlines in May when he came out as gay in an article on outsports.com that chronicled his anxieties and struggles with making it public.
Donovan was on his recruiting trip in San Luis Obispo when the article was published, and he told NJ.com that Cal Poly head coach Brendan Buckley and the rest of his staff was supportive.
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“It wasn’t my intention to have the conversation with the Cal Poly staff, but I was out there visiting when the story came out,” Donovan told NJ.com in a June 2 article about his decision to sign with the Mustangs. “The coaches (at Cal Poly) told me it doesn’t mean anything because they had a gay wrestler on their team before. “I was very relieved. I was happy to be at a place where I was going to be accepted no matter what.”
Cal Poly also announced two other grapplers from the Northeast who will join the team in fall. Matt Wilhelm from Manahawkin, N.J., went 24-3 as a high school senior at Southern Regional High and finished third at the state finals at 152 pounds. Thomas Lane, a 197-pounder from Garden City, N.Y., chose Cal Poly over visits to Buffalo and Maryland after placing third at the New York state finals.
The other five wrestlers announced Tuesday hail from California and all five finished in the top eight of their respective weight classes in the state this past season.
They are: Temecula Valley’s Joshua Cortez (fifth at 138 pounds), Christopher’s Alex Garcia (fifth at 160), San Dimas’ David Gonzalez (third at 113), Fountain Valley’s Andrew Morgan (third at 170) and Poway’s Liam Sorahan (fifth at 220).
The three signees from the fall were Kyler Hansen of Buchanan, Brandon Staley from Winter Springs in Florida, and Tyler Schilling from Sweet Home in Oregon.