Wrestling: Miller signs with Mesa State

Former Douglas High standout Shane Miller has signed to wrestle for the Mesa State Mavericks to wrap up his collegiate career.

Miller, who went 50-1 as a senior for the Tigers in 2006 and won the state 189-pound championship, initially signed with Fresno State out of high school. The Bulldogs, however, dropped their wrestling program that summer.

That left Miller scrambling to find a place to compete.

He caught on at Lassen College for two seasons and ended up winning the California Community College State Wrestling Championship in the 197-pound class last season.

It wasn't long before the four-year schools came calling.

"I was mostly hearing from Portland State and Mesa State," Miller said. "I went on a recruiting trip to Mesa and I really liked the city and the area in general."

Mesa State, located in Grand Junction, Colo., will be entering its third year back in wrestling since dropping it after the 1990-91 season.

Miller figures to be an instant-impact athlete as he will be one of only two 197-pounders listed on the Maverick's roster.

"It's a younger program, so I'll be coming in as one of the older guys," Miller said.

"The coach told me he was looking at starting me my first year and maybe red-shirting me my second to prolong my career a bit. I guess we'll see."

While the jump up in competition may take a little time (Mesa State wrestles in the NCAA Division II Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference), Miller has set his sights pretty high.

"My goal is to win a national championship," Miller said. "I've been working hard, lifting weights four or five times a week and running a lot. There aren't a lot of people to wrestle with here, but I've been getting out with my friend (Galena graduate Nick Williams, who now wrestles for Arizona State) when I can."

Miller said the prospect of starting a new life in Colorado is intriguing.

"It's hard, because I'm leaving people here that I've known all my life," he said. "But I got to hang out with some of the wrestlers while I was there and I made some good friends. It feels good to finally know here I'm going to be. I'm pretty excited to leave and get a new start and everything."

Miller said he plans to start doing the course-load required to get into physical therapy and hopes to move on after his athletic career to get his master's degree.


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