Less than four months ago, Biglerville senior Trevor Stover was on the verge of fulfilling a dream of playing college football. He had narrowed his college choices down to Shippensburg and Delaware Valley. The lineman was going to visit the two and see which one he liked the most and which was most financially suitable.
Then something happened that would alter the course of his college career forever. Stover, was approached by an assistant wrestling coach from Bloomsburg University. Skip forward a few weeks and a visit to Bloomsburg later, and Stover is fulfilling another dream. Wrestling at the Division 1 level. He traded in his football pads and cleats for a singlet.
“Being a Division 1 wrestler was something I thought about, but I never really thought it was going to happen,” Stover said. “It is such hard work and I never thought I would get a scholarship or even get looked at by a Division 1 school.”
“It is every little kids dream. You don’t wrestle just to wrestle, it is too hard on your body and it takes too much of a toll on you. It is fun in victory and winning is awesome but you don’t wrestle to wrestle. You have bigger goals and I have bigger goals and I hope to achieve them.”
After posting a second place finish in districts, Stover was approached by a Bloomsburg assistant coach who convinced him to just visit the campus. The rest is history.
“I figured it couldn’t hurt to visit,” Stoner said. “I absolutely fell in love with the place. It is beautiful up there and the coaches are just awesome. The head coach is just crazy. I clicked with him, and me and him had a thing going. I watched their practice and their athletes are very friendly and I enjoyed how close the team was. They all introduced themselves to me and I just felt like I was at home there. I went home, talked to my parents and figured that was the place for me to be for the next five years, so I committed.”
Stoner has not been cleared by the eligibility center to wrestle his freshman year, so he will be only able to compete in open tournaments.
“Their heavyweight will come and workout with me and we will pretty much have our own practices together,” Stoner said. “I will life and run up until the season and when the season starts they will keep track of me but I have to do my own thing because of NCAA rules.”
The coaching staff has made it perfectly clear what they expect from him in the future. In doing so, Stover will “get helped pretty good,” financially through scholarships.
“Coach put on the back of his card what he wanted out of me and what it would take to get my money,” Stover said.
The fact that Stover will not be able to compete this season could actually benefit him in the long run. He will be given a year to acclimate to college life, he can work on his grades, and get bigger, stronger and faster.
“I definitely plan on lifting,” Stover said. “I will definitely have to start lifting more and getting bigger. My height is perfect for college wrestling. I am probably one of the tallest if not the tallest in college wrestling. Obviously it will help with me staying on top of my grades and my school work so that I can wrestle.”
Stover’s success in the 2012-2013 season is more surreal then a fair-tale. The senior needed 40 wins to reach the 100 win milestone for his career at the start of a the season. It was a milestone he did not even consider accomplishing, but in the PIAA Consolation fourth round, Stover defeated Andrew Dunn from Bethlehem Catholic to achieve the unthinkable. He also went on to win his next match, in the consolation finals to earn a third place finish and to cap off his career with 101 wins.
“Last year I came in sixth,” Stover said. “Coming into the season I never thought I would reach 100 wins. I did a lot of things that I did not think I was capable of and I proved a lot of people wrong. I feel like if I am smart and do the things I am supposed to do, then I can hang with just about anyone.”
Once the recruiting process was over, Stover took a huge sigh of relieve and reflected a little bit.
“It is awesome that we will be going against the top teams in the nation,” Stover said. “I was talking to my little sister. She is 10 years old so she doesn’t really understand the Division 1 thing. My family is big Ohio State fans and I was telling her that I will be wrestling on the same level as Ohio State and Penn State and that gave me the chills because that is awesome.”
After gaining some valuable experience throughout the recruiting process, Stover has some insight he would give to younger wrestlers who are going through or will go through the recruiting process.
“I would say be patient,” he said. “Don’t let things get to your head. A lot of coaches will sweet talk you and make you feel good about yourself and they will make you feel like the big man on campus but just be patient and things will work out and you will know who really wants you.”