BUIES CREEK – Campbell University head wrestling coach Joe Boardwine has announced the signing of Eric Montoya (Albuquerque, N.M.) to a National Letter of Intent to wrestle for the Fighting Camels next season. Montoya was a four-time state champion at Volcano Vista High School, where he competed in the 120 and 126-pound weight classes. He was ranked as high as 16th in the nation at 126 pounds during his prep career.
Montoya concluded his illustrious high school career with a 143-10 overall record, including an impressive 88 pins. He was a gold medal winner with an undefeated record in the all-star division at the prestigious Disney Duals. Montoya also finished fifth at the Super 32 event, advancing to the semifinals before dropping a 3-2 decision to the top-ranked wrestler in the country.
"We think Eric could be really tough at the D-I level," Boardwine said. "He has a tremendous passion for the sport of wrestling and for training to become the best. His lifestyle is all about reaching his goals and staying disciplined." Montoya has maintained a 3.0 GPA during his high school career.
Montoya was twice named a NHSCA All-American, earning a national runner-up finish at the NHSCA sophomore nationals despite a late start in the sport. "Eric started wrestling late, not until the 8th grade, and was still able to win four high school state titles," Boardwine stated. "Two years into his wrestling career he was already in the national finals at the NHSCA Sophomore Nationals, which is not easy to do. We think he has a lot of upside and untapped potential. On top of it, he is really a great kid and I think can develop into a very good leader for us down the road."
The Campbell wrestling program showed great strides this past season, earning the most victories over Division I opponents in program history. The team finished 11-17 in dual matches against a difficult schedule, equaling the win total from the previous four seasons combined. The Camels also placed five wrestlers on the Southern Conference all-freshman team as James Cook, Mark Hartenstine, Ryan Krecker, Joe Nolan and Joey Rizzolino all earned recognition.
The team finished 3-3 in the competitive SoCon dual season and sent an individual wrestler to nationals for the third consecutive year when senior John Weakley qualified at the SoCon Championships. Campbell's regular season slate included a home win over Duke and a road victory at Virginia Military Institute. CU also dropped a tight 24-21 contest to 20th-ranked Rutgers at the Virginia Duals.