Thursday, May 24, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 12

Santa Maria Sun / Athlete of the Week

The following article was posted on May 14th, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 15, Issue 10 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 15, Issue 10

Chelsea Dionisio



“First of all, I would like to thank you all for coming,” Pioneer Valley High School senior Chelsea Dionisio announced.

The humble gratitude she gracefully expressed in front of friends and family on May 7 was that of a young woman who fully appreciates the unique opportunity she has to continue a career in wrestling.

The time had come for Dionisio to sign her letter of intent, confirming that she plans to wrestle for Jamestown University in North Dakota this fall. Just before she signed the letter, her devoted coach Kevin Ilac stood in front of the group to say a few words about his dedicated wrestler.

“Today is her moment,” Ilac said, summing up the importance of Dionisio’s signing.

This moment has been four years in the making.

Dionisio’s cousin was a former Pioneer Valley wrestler, so during her freshman year, she decided to give it a try. She immediately fell in love with the sport, and decided to really commit by putting her all into each match.

Inspiration was easy to come by during her years of wrestling for Pioneer Valley.

“I don’t even know where to start,” Dionisio said when asked about who inspires her most when it comes to wrestling.

She immediately named her coach, who taught her just about everything there is to know about the sport.

“He inspires me to shoot for the stars,” Dionisio said of Ilac.

Aside from the coaching staff, Dionisio is surrounded by a close-knit group of friends when she wrestles.

“My team is honestly the best team ever,” she said of the hardworking individuals who wrestle alongside her.

Her time at Pioneer Valley has brought about an array of successes. From placing fifth at the extremely competitive Asics Challenge in Napa Valley to placing sixth at Regionals, Dionisio may be leaving Pioneer Valley, but she’ll take many lifelong memories and friendships with her.

With graduation quickly approaching, Dionisio is looking forward to what her future at Jamestown University will have to offer.

Not only is she anticipating meeting new people, she’s looking forward to learning a new style of wrestling and planning to earn a bachelor’s degree in business with an emphasis in advertising.

It’s full speed ahead for this future Jamestown Knight, who helped to pioneer the way for future female wrestlers at a local high school.

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