BY RAUL GARCIA
La Joya High wrestler Michael De La Cruz woke up and reached for his phone to review any messages he may had missed, and to scan his social networks.
To his surprise, one very important message from his father, Abraham De La Cruz, came in alerting him to check out Texaswrestling.com.
Michael De La Cruz, a sophomore, opened the link and couldn’t believe what he found on the other end of the message.
The link was to a story naming him the Mortgage X-Change Wrestler of the Week on Texaswresling.com during the week of Dec. 31.
“It was a surprise and they just put it out there,” De La Cruz said. “It was pretty cool.”
He said he could recall wanting to be recognized by the website when he started wrestling and researching the competition.
According to the website, De La Cruz was recognized for riding a 27-0 record on the season, with 17 wins by fall in the 6A 152-pound weight class.
De La Cruz was the tournament champion at the McAllen Holiday Havoc, Rattler Invitational, Twin City Varsity Invitational and La Joya Juarez-Lincoln Invitational.
He also finished first in the District 15-6A District Duals, McAllen Season-opener Quad, La Joya Tri-Meet and Edinburg Vela Dual.
Last year, De La Cruz was a regional qualifier after placing fourth at the district championship.
This year, De La Cruz is aiming at finishing first in district and making a run to state.
De La Cruz is now 31-2 after traveling to Houston where he locked horns with the best in the state. He returned from the 18th annual Cy-Fair Invitational held in Cypress with his first two losses after competing against 40 to 50 wrestlers in his division at the tournament that drew 180 teams.
De La Cruz wrestles year around and has been wrestling nearly two years non-stop since beginning the sport when he was in the eighth grade.
Aside from his school, he participates with the Lightning Wrestling Club in Pharr and in the summer was on the Team Texas, part of USA Wrestling out of Dallas, where he competed in the national free style championship held in Fargo, North Dakota.
“All my accomplishments are because of my hard work that I have put in,” De La Cruz said. “There are times I’m putting in six hours a day and I’m extremely dedicated to wrestling.”