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Wrestlers warned about recruiter

The organization that oversees high school sports in Massachusetts warned athletes Wednesday about a man trying to recruit boys to wrestle in hotels around the state.

A person who goes by the name Manny Whelan on Facebook is offering male athletes money to lure them to compete in an “underground wrestling club” in local hotels, said Nathan Bonneau, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association.

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The group said boys should beware because the man does not appear to represent an actual sports team or group and may be trying to prey on the athletes. The individual has been reaching out to boys via Facebook message for at least two years, the warning said. The offers may not be exclusive to wrestling, officials said.

The MIAA sent an e-mail to schools across Massachusetts after multiple boys mentioned the messages from Whelan to their coaches and athletic directors.

Anyone with information should contact local police or the Massachusetts Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force at 978-451-3550.

Jacqueline Tempera can be reached at jacqueline.tempera@globe.com
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