Las Lomas High School wrestler Jason Welch has been named the No. 1 prep wrestling recruit in the nation for the class of 2008 by intermatwrestle.com.

Welch, a two-time California Interscholastic Federation state champion, was on a recruiting trip in Chicago when the list came out on July 3, but was still excited to hear the news.

"It means a lot because it's more than just being No. 1 in my weight class," Welch said. "It's who they think is the best guy overall."

July 1 marked the first day that college coaches could call Welch, but the Las Lomas senior said that the day wasn't as chaotic as some told him it would be.

"I heard a lot of people say it was going to be really bad," Welch said. "I got four or five calls. It wasn't crazy or anything."

According to his father, John, Welch, is considering Arizona State, Cal Poly, Stanford, Michigan, Northwestern and Iowa State.

Welch was one of only six California wrestlers on the list. The next highest was Central Catholic-Modesto's Louis Bland, who Welch beat at the Foothill ASICS tournament last season. Intermatwrestle.com's list is recognized as one of the foremost sources for college wrestling recruiting news in the country.

FOOTBALL

Former De La Salle High School and Diablo Valley College wide receiver Mario D'Ambrosio is keeping his football dream alive.

The 5-foot-11, 200-pound D'Ambrosio has accepted a full scholarship to Portland State University. He was expecting to receive the paperwork in the mail Monday so he can officially sign to play for first-year coach Jerry Glanville, the former Atlanta Falcons and Houston Oilers head coach.

"That was my goal out of high school: to get a scholarship," D'Ambrosio said. "I couldn't be prouder to play for coach Glanville."

D'Ambrosio said he had been considering a school in New York before DVC coach Mike Darr pulled him aside two weeks ago to tell him about a call he received from Portland State, which was looking for a wide receiver. Two days later, Glanville called D'Ambrosio with a scholarship offer.

"He's one of those kids that's done everything right," Darr said. "You like seeing it work out for those guys."

D'Ambrosio said he's expected to contend for a starting slot receiver spot in the Vikings' run-and-gun offense.

-- Jimmy Durkin

  • Former Salesian running back and track standout Jahvid Best has been named the CalHiSports.com State Division IV Boys Athlete of the Year. Best ran for 3,224 yards and 45 touchdowns this year, won the state title in the 100-meter dash and placed second in the 200.

    Monte Vista's Ryan Whalen and Deer Valley's Taiwan Jones were also named as Division I Athletes of Distinction.

    -- Times staff