Villalpando, Gomez win second state championships

Abigail Grantham, Reporter

Seniors Duwayne Villapando and Devin Gomez came out as state champions for the second year and this weekend at Hartman Arena. As a team, Maize took third.

Coming in close in second place was freshman Nakaylen Shabazz and junior Kyle Haas. The boys said they did the best they were capable of doing.

“The obvious is that it feels pretty good,” Gomez said. “What made it so special was the fact that I did it without being defeated.” 

All of these boys have been wrestling since they were 5.

“My dad inspired me,” Shabazz said. “My brother started wrestling at 5, so my dad wanted me to start.”

While working on the mat is important, Shabazz believes working off the mat is just as important.

“After school I go to the YMCA and work out plus cardio,” Shabazz said. “I really think that helped me a lot this weekend, because all my opponents were tired after the third match but I was in shape, so I wasn’t.” 

In the future, all four of these athletes said they are plan to pursue their wrestling career at the collegiate level.

“I’m not 100% sure where I am going to college, but I know I am going to wrestle,” Gomez said. “I am planning to go to Oklahoma State and I have my official visit soon.”

Haas recently committed at Oklahoma State.

“OSU has always felt like home,” Haas said in an earlier interview. “I’ve trained there since I was younger and always loved the school and coaching staff.”

Shabazz said he wasn’t upset that he placed second since it’s his freshman year, but he said he can work on one thing overall.

“Mind over matter is what I am going to work on,” he said.