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McGill is heading to Maryland

May 26, 2005|By ANDREW MASON

WILLIAMSPORT - Mike McGill's memories of the University of Maryland couldn't be any fonder.

"I'm undefeated there," said the Williamsport senior, who won both of his wrestling state titles at the College Park campus.

McGill hopes his college days at Maryland are just as memorable. He signed a letter of intent Wednesday to continue his wrestling career as a Terrapin at the NCAA Division I level.

"I just wanted to go to the place where I thought I'd fit in the best," McGill said. "I liked the team, got along well with the coaches and saw an opportunity for myself to get a lot better going to Maryland."

McGill went 33-1 as a senior and was the Maryland Class 2A-1A state champ at 145 pounds. As a junior, he won the state title at 135. Overall, he was 114-9 for his career and was a four-time West region and Washington County champion.

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McGill knows he'll have to work even harder to be successful at the next level.

"I'm sure once practice starts, I'll be humbled," he said. "I'm going to be wrestling men. I'm not going to be wrestling boys anymore."

McGill said he most likely will redshirt his freshman season.

"That's what they're saying right now," he said. "They want me to get bigger and go to 157, because after next year they won't have anyone at 157."

Under second-year head coach Pat Santoro - a 2000 Olympian and two-time NCAA champ - Maryland went 3-13-1 and 0-5 in the Atlantic Coast Conference this past season. But better days seem to be ahead for the Terrapins.

"Guys that could have easily started this year redshirted because they're looking towards the future, and I want to be a part of a program like that," McGill said. "They had a nationally ranked recruiting class last year and most of them redshirted this year. And they have a nationally ranked recruiting class this year. It's top 20, I believe."

McGill said his individual goals are to become an ACC champion and qualify for the NCAA tournament.

"I'd like to make a name for myself in college," he said. "I think I can excel there."

McGill, a two-time member of the Maryland State Wrestling Association All-Academic Team, is set to receive an academic scholarship and major in either physical education or special education. He said scholarship money for wrestling will be performance based.

"He's got a lot of hard work in front of him, and he knows that," Williamsport wrestling coach Mike Rechtorovic said. "But I have no doubt that whatever his goal is, he'll put the work in to get it done. I've seen it the last four years. I have faith in him."

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