Southwinds

Outstanding wrestler is only a freshman

Andres+Avelar%2C+second+from+left%2C+is+the+first+South+Mountain+wrestler+to+win+the+Bourgade+Last+Chance+Wrestling+Tourna-+ment+in+over+a+decade.+He+was+voted+the+outstanding+wrestler+of+the+tournament.
Andres Avelar, second from left, is the first South Mountain wrestler to win the Bourgade Last Chance Wrestling Tourna- ment in over a decade. He was voted the outstanding wrestler of the tournament.

Andres Avelar, second from left, is the first South Mountain wrestler to win the Bourgade Last Chance Wrestling Tourna- ment in over a decade. He was voted the outstanding wrestler of the tournament.

Photo Courtesy Brian Fair

Photo Courtesy Brian Fair

Andres Avelar, second from left, is the first South Mountain wrestler to win the Bourgade Last Chance Wrestling Tourna- ment in over a decade. He was voted the outstanding wrestler of the tournament.

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Many know him as the only freshman wrestler on the South Mountain High school varsity team. Andres Avelar finished the season with a  record of 45-10 with 29 pins in 106 pound weight class.

“I had my first wrestling match when I was 13,” he said. “Having only two months experience I went to a wrestling tournament and won my first two matches.”

Unfortunately, Avelar lost and went into the consolation round where he lost again and was out of the tournament. Although his first tournament was not successful, he kept a strong attitude and continued to focus on the sport.

To place at the Arizona State Wrestling Tournament, wrestlers first have to qualify by placing in the top four at sectionals in a 16 team tournament. They then have to place in the top six to medal at the state tournament.

“Andres took first at sectionals avenging an earlier season loss in the semifinals to a wrestler from Gila Ridge and then beat the number two ranked wrestler in the State Semifinals to make it into the championship match,” said Head Wrestling Coach Joe Thompson.This is a huge accomplishment for anyone, much less a freshman.”

Avelar is also the first jaguar to win the Bourgade Last Chance Tournament in over a decade. He was also voted outstanding wrestler of the tournament. In route to his championship he defeated San Carlos, Perry, Mountain Pointe, and lastly Show Low in the finals.

“Coaching an athlete like Andres is a great privilege. He is hardworking, dedicated, and extremely athletically gifted,” said Thompson. “because of his wrestling experience he is able to pick up new techniques and implement them very quickly.”

He also won the Arizona Interscholastic Association Division two Section three for his 106 weight class.

“I’m so good because I pour in a lot of hard work and I had awesome training partners that pushed me. I love how hard you have to fight and train. I find doing sprints to be one of the most difficult things.“

One week after the state tournament, Andres was back in the weight room preparing for next wrestling season which starts November.

“Anyone is welcome to join but they must know it won’t be easy,” said Andres. “It takes hard work,  determination, and  stamina.”

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Outstanding wrestler is only a freshman