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Abigail Martinez, Klein Collins
ABIGAIL MARTINEZ IS NOT YOUR STEREO TYPICAL HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLER.
You would think a wrestler would be rough, tough and intimidating always wanting to snap and put someone on the ground.
Abigail…not so much. The Klein Collins star is sweet, soft-spoken, thoughtful and dare I say… don’t say it!
“You wouldn’t think it from the sport I do, but I’m really girly,” she laughs. “I love decorating rooms and organizing things to look really pretty.” Curveball.
She got into the sport through her sister and finished second in district last season advancing to Regionals. While she’s “cutesy”, Martinez is committed to her craft.
“I wrestle for Rise Wrestling and also coach there,” she said. “I’m coaching my sister. I love it. Wrestling keeps me focused and disciplined. It helps me so much with time management too. It has given me that drive to push myself beyond what I think I can do in all aspects of my life.
“It’s such a competitive sport and no match is ever the same. It’s constantly changing.”
Her goal this season is to get through the Region and place at State, but it will take more training and selfsacrifice.
“I love to watch British Baking Shows on Netflix and wrestlers love food, right?” she laughs. “But I’ve put myself on a pretty strict diet to help me really compete this year. It’s an all-veggie diet. I eat two meats a week, cut down on salt and I don’t eat carbs.
“In wrestling, you are always trying to make weight and it’s constantly on your mind. Since being on this diet, it has taken that stress away, helping me concentrate more on my training and techniques.”
Ok, maybe she is your typical wrestler.
Fulshear junior Seth Smith
SETH SMITH IS A FAN FAVORITE, NO MATTER WHAT SPORT HE’S PLAYING.
He goes by “The Viking,” a nickname that started in rugby. The Fulshear standout braids his blonde hair at each end of his head, and kids started to recognize him as “that Viking kid.”
At wrestling matches, fans of Smith’s dress up in Viking attire.
“I love it,” he said. “It’s amazing. It’s real cool.” Smith stars in football, wrestling, and rugby, which he considers “gladiator sports” where “the strongest and fastest wins”.
Once you get tired in either sport, Smith said, you’re done.
Smith plays the toughest and most under appreciated positions on the field – fullback in football and flanker in rugby. Roles that prioritize speed, strength, fitness and physicality.
“If you’re the most well conditioned, you’re going to win that wrestling match,” Smith said. “In rugby, if you’re the most well conditioned, you’re going to get around the field better. In football, if I’m the most well-conditioned, I’m going to get there faster and get my blocks down.”
But it’s more than just the primitive nature that Smith is enamored with.
“What it comes down to is all of them are about respect,” he said. “You’re going to go out there and do what you have to get done, but you’re going to do it with the utmost respect.
“That respect aspect is what travels with me.”
Now that football is over, Smith transitions to wrestling, where he finished fourth in the 220-pound weight class at the Class 5A State Tournament last year. It was his first official year of competitive wrestling, as he had only wrestled sporadically, off and on for a couple months at a time, before then.
“Since I finished fourth, all three people who were above me graduated,” Smith said. “My mentality is being first. My takedowns are better. I’ve been working on speed and staying consistent on the move.”
Off the field or mat, Smith is a respectful, classy young man who loves peanut butter. He fondly remembers eating a whole jar in two hours.
Manners, respect and humility are important to Smith. He credits his upbringing for that. His father, Charles, and his mother, Callie, are his inspiration.
“Everything they do is for me and my little brother, and everything they do helps us be better people,” Smith said. “If they’re willing to give everything of themselves for me, I might as well give my all to be the best in what I do.”