SPRINGFIELD — Bryan Garza’s first season with the Rochelle wrestling program culminated in a trip to the 22nd Annual IWCOA Fresh-Soph State Championships this past weekend.
Garza qualified for the state championships after placing third during the sectional competition at Sterling high school. The 170-pound sophomore bounced back from a tough loss in the championship bracket to win out in wrestlebacks and become the only Hub underclassman to qualify this winter.
“It was definitely a weird feeling because I was the only one,” Garza said. “The experience at the state championships definitely helped me a lot. They showed me what I need to work on and how hard I need to push myself.”
Garza competed in two matches at the state championships this past weekend, falling in a close bout to Curie’s Tobias Bell by 2-1 decision in the opening round before falling by 10-2 major decision against Lake Forest’s Truman Thuente in the consolation bracket. A transfer student from Lincoln, Garza spent time at both 170 and 182 pounds for the Hubs this season, and the sophomore said he’s looking forward to getting stronger for next season.
“There’s a lot more pushing here and I definitely got farther here than I did in Lincoln,” Garza said. “I didn’t get as far as I wanted to this year but I cut a lot of weight from the start of the season and I think that if I work hard, I can be good at 182 next season.”