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Santa Maria Sun / Athlete of the Week

The following article was posted on April 9th, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 15, Issue 5 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 15, Issue 5

Andrew Ibarra

BY EMMA FUHS

Some people just don’t take breaks. On almost any weekday afternoon, one could find wrestler Andrew Ibarra, a senior at Righetti High School, being challenged by one of his dedicated coaches on the mat, or perfecting his favorite maneuver, called the “High C Single.”

After devoting 11 years to the sport, Ibarra’s love of wrestling hasn’t dwindled. His experience with the sport began at a young age.

“I was kind of crazy when I was a little kid,” Ibarra recalled with a laugh. Thus, wrestling became a productive pastime that allowed him to expend some of his excess energy.

Nowadays, wrestling has become much more than a way to tame a restless child. After placing fifth at the Southern Section Masters, eighth at the California State Meet, and competing against some of the best young wrestlers at nationals in Virginia, Ibarra has proven that steadfast commitment can truly pay off.

Though he didn’t expect to qualify for nationals, he knew it was possible.

“My goal was to make it to state and place,” he said.

After a tough season, he did just that.

“Going into the postseason was really when he had some success,” coach Andrew Dominguez said, attributing many of Ibarra’s achievements to “hard work and the commitments he has made to the sport.”

After a momentous season, Ibarra continues to wrestle year-round with the same coaches who have helped him get to both state and national championships.

“My coaches push me,” he said.

Indeed, the encouragement and instruction provided by Ibarra’s coaches, coupled with his passion for the sport, has paved the way for future success. With an array of colleges offering him admission and the chance to wrestle, Ibarra is weighing all of his options. He hopes to major in petroleum engineering or math.

Despite the triumphs of last season and the bright things ahead, Ibarra remains humble. He attributes much of his success to those who have helped him throughout the years, especially his family.

“I have a very good support system,” he said.

And as for wrestling, he said, “You just gotta keep fighting. One match at a time.”