By Beau Troutman
Three West Ottawa wrestlers took the next step in their athletic careers on Wednesday, April 28, and formally committed to their respective colleges.
Ethan Curtin is going to walk-on at Michigan State, Quinten Reid will compete for Grand Valley State’s club team that competes in the NCWA and Keenan Montoya committed to Elmhurst (Ill.) College, a Division III school.
“My number one goal is to see kids compete at the collegiate level,” said West Ottawa coach Ryan Lancaster. “All three of them were captains for us last year, so that was huge. They’re three kids that have really set the pace for the program. To see them implement the system we started here, and then bring it to other places is really great to see.”
Curtin, who is projected to wrestle in the 125-pound weight class for the Spartans, racked up several accolades in his last year as a Panther. He was a district champion, conference champion and a state qualifier. He was also awarded an academic all-state honor for his senior year, and finished his career in the 100-win club.
While he admits he is apprehensive about being a walk-on at a Division I school, he’s ready for the challenge.
“I just thought, ‘Why not give it the best shot I can?’ So, I think I can do it,” Curtin said. “Walking on is definitely more difficult, it’s going to be a lot of work compared to a different spot where I’m more guaranteed (a roster spot).”
Reid, who has some familiarity with the GVSU coaching staff and works out with them, chose the Lakers because he knew it would be an easy transition. GVSU wrestling does not compete in Division II because of Title IX regulations, but competes in the NCWA with teams all over the country.
The Lakers are coming off of a season where they were named national runner-ups at the NCWA national tournament in Orlando, Fla. Reid is projected to wrestle in the 149/157 weight class.
“It’s definitely one of the bigger days for me, I’m pretty excited,” Reid said. “They’re one of the better club teams that’s out there.”
Montoya was named an individual conference champion this past season, and finished his career as a Panther in the 100-win club.
He is projected to wrestle at the 184/197 weight class for the Blue Jays.
“(College) is like wrestling,” Montoya said. “It’s a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication into what you’re doing, especially since I’m paying a lot of money now to go to college. I’m going to have to work really hard.”