Wrestlers are a different breed of athlete. That can easily be seen as they prepare for a match, listening to music, dancing, jumping around, talking to themselves or just going through a pre-match routine. In some regions of the country, wrestlers come out onto the floor with spotlights, smoke and loud music in front of packed high school gymnasiums. Then it’s one-on-one in one of the world’s oldest sports.
Below are the finalists for the All Valley Boys and Girls Wrestlers of the Year. Winners will be announced June 13 at the All Valley Sports Awards Banquet, co-presented by DHR Health and Lone Star National Bank. Finalists are listed in alphabetical order.
Abel Alvarado, PSJA Memorial, Junior: Alvarado (38-3) was the highest-placing Valley wrestler. The junior from PSJA Memorial defeated the Region I champion, Juan Martinez (38-9), by a 6-2 decision in the Class 5A 106-pound category to end up with bronze at the state’s highest wrestling stage.
Diego Serna, Sharyland Pioneer, Senior: Serna won the region’s 106-pound category, defeating Abel Alvarado from PSJA Memorial in the championship round with a 10-8 decision. Serna improved to 25-4 on the season. Serna is a three-time regional champion. He finished fifth in the Class 5A state meet.
Roberto Silva, Edinburg Vela, Senior: Silva at one point had a 37-1 record, winning the regional’s 138-pound weight class with an 8-0 major decision over San Antonio Reagan’s Amir Mussali to advance to state, where he finished sixth and ended up 39-4. Prior to that match, Silva dispatched of Jaxson Gon-zalez of Cibolo Steele by a 9-3 decision over Eduardo Jaramillo of Weslaco East by a 12-0 major decision and by Brendan Sheridan of New Braunfels by a pin at 2:32.
Alejandra Briere, Sharyland Pioneer, Sophomore: Briere (43-7) advanced to the regional finals with a pin over Karyssa Avila from Uvalde in 1:30 and then a 12-7 decision against Anisa Arredondo-Argot of Corpus Christi Ray to earn a trip to the state meet. At state she advanced to the semifinals before being defeated and finished sixth overall at the 102-pound division.
Katherine Castro, Los Fresnos: State qualifier, Castro finished in second place in the regional meet at 119 pounds.
Nayeli Hernandez, PSJA High, Junior: Hernandez made it to the state tournament in the girls’ 110-pound weight class. With a 40-4 record, the junior finished sixth in her weight class, winning three times and falling twice.
The banquet, hosted by RGVSports.com and AIM Media Texas in conjunction with the RGV Sports Hall of Fame, will see 33 awards presented to athletes, coaches and teams across all 12 UIL sports. The prestigious Tom Landry Award of Excellence will honor a student athlete for outstanding achievements.
Dallas Cowboys great Randy White, a Super Bowl MVP and NFL Hall of Famer, will be the guest speaker.
The banquet, which will run approximately 6 to 8 p.m., returns to Mario’s for a second consecutive year. The venue has a seating capacity of more than 500 people.
Tickets are on sale for $40 per person. For sponsorship opportunities, call Marcia Kitten at (956) 683-4463 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.