Eastern View’s Drew Shurina, center, signs his national letter of intent to wrestle at Division II Coker (S.C.) University next year. Seated alongside him are mother Missy, left, and father Marty.

For almost as long as he’s been able to walk, wrestling has been a big part of Drew Shurina’s life.

When he was barely out of toddlerhood, he would carry around his father Marty’s high school wrestling pictures.

When Drew was five years old, Marty decided to sign him up for youth football. That decision set in motion a series of events that has led Drew down a fortuitous path for over a decade.

“He came home from his first football practice and said, ‘Dad, I know the wrasslin’ coach,’” Marty said. “He said, ‘Dad, I’m gonna wrassle.’”

Drew was referring to Eric Brown, the then-head coach of Team Cobra Wrestling, a local youth wrestling club. As it turned out, Brown’s son Zach was on Drew’s football team, and he and Drew had met after the boys became fast friends.

“After that, Drew was on the mat in no time,” Marty said.

Fast-forward 13 years and Drew has signed a letter of intent to continue his wrestling career at Division II Coker (S.C.) University.

“It feels incredible to know that I’m going to be able to wrestle at the next level,” said Drew, now a senior at Eastern View. “I guess you could say it’s a whole new level of excitement for me.”

Drew is the third Shurina to grapple his way to the college ranks. His oldest brother, Logan, was the first Eastern View wrestler to earn a scholarship when he committed to Alderson Broaddus (W.Va.) University in 2014. The second Shurina boy, Bret, also signed on at Coker in 2016.

“It’s incredible what they’ve been able to accomplish,” Marty said. “For all three of them to move on to college, it makes me very proud.”

Another thing Drew shares with his brothers is a love for football. Like Logan and Bret, he’s been a standout linebacker for the Cyclones, recently earning Battlefield District player of the year honors.

“I’m going to miss the sport of football and my teammates,” Drew said following Eastern View’s 25-17 season-ending loss to Dinwiddie in Friday’s Region 4B semifinals. “I hate that things ended the way they did, but I’m proud of what we were able to accomplish while I was here, especially winning the regional championship my junior year.”

Nonetheless, Drew said his attention is now focused solely on winning an individual state title in his final season on the mat for the Cyclones—something Bret was able to do in 2016.

“I’ve got one more shot at it,” said Drew, who finished second to Liberty Christian’s Justin Phillips in the 152-pound weight class at last year’s Class 4 state meet. “Winning a state title would mean a great deal to me, and it would help me out with bragging rights around the house.”

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