Liberty’s Mary Lopez was one of the best wrestlers in the state through her time in high school. When her career wrapped up, she received an honor recognizing her achievements.
Lopez won the Tricia High School Excellence Award for California, making her a finalist for the entire Western United States.
The TSHSEA is “an award given to the high school senior female wrestler in each state “for their excellence in wrestling, scholastic achievement, citizenship, and community service.”
“It was a great thing to get,” Lopez said. “At my high school I had always gotten all kinds of recognition. It was nice that even outside of my high school people were taking notice of me and all of my accomplishments. It was nice to get that recognition.”
Lopez finished her senior year as a North Coast Section Champion and finished as runner-up in the California State Championship meet.
When she looked back at her four years with the Lions, Lopez recognized not only her accomplishments, but also how much her sport has changed over the last four years.
“When I first started, there was me and like two other girls on the team,” she said. “This past year, there was like 16 of us. That was neat to see. We’re definitely getting more and more recognition.”
The next step for Lopez is the Army, where she will pursue nursing.
In the Army, Lopez hopes her schedule will allow her to continue wrestling. She said the sport has introduced her to important people in her life and helped shape her into who she is.
“It’s been a great experience,” she said. “I’ve met some of my best friends, like my family. It’s definitely something that shaped me into the person that I am. I don’t think I’d be the person that I am today if I didn’t have wrestling.”