The countdown to state – from 10th

Eli Cortez reaches for his rightful spot in the light
Junior wrestler Eli Cortez has his eye on state this year.
Junior wrestler Eli Cortez has his eye on state this year.
Mardell Ostrom

Currently ranked 10th in the state, junior Eli Cortez got his interest in wrestling from his older brother at an early age, “My older brother wrestled and he’s the one who got me into it.”

He feels like his performance over the season was bumpy in the beginning, but it got better, “I was one off last year from the state,” Cortez said. This year, it is within his reach.   

 When it comes to moves in wrestling, he has trouble pinning the opponent, “I’m a wrestler heavyweight so they’re big dudes and I’m always littler.”

Cortez expressed his gratitude for the coaches, saying that they support him a lot, “They help us in the offseason, drive us around everywhere, and help us with practices in the offseason where it’s just one-on-one. They do everything for us.”

EHS Wrestling
EHS boasts a large wrestling team with a lot of talent. The team is led by Jayce Prante and Eli Cortez. We currently have three ranked kids in the state, Coach Matthew Burton said.
EHS boasts a large wrestling team with a lot of talent. “The team is led by Jayce Prante and Eli Cortez. We currently have three ranked kids in the state,” Coach Matthew Burton said. (Mardell Ostrom)

Several members of the wrestling team are inspired by Cortez, “I’d be surprised if Eli doesn’t go to state,” junior Avery Garcia said. 

Junior Kaleb Hernandez has been wrestling for three years. He was drawn to the sport because his sister was a wrestler. He finds it nerve-wracking to go out on the mat in front of a packed gymnasium, “There are a hundred eyes on you.”  Hernandez said he has two wrestlers he looks up to, “Jayce Prante and Eli Cortez. They just shine above everyone else and really fill that leadership role.” 

After high school, Cortez sees himself continuing to wrestle, and he hopes to get a scholarship.

 

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