Andrew De La Rosa just wrapped up his sophomore wrestling season at Glastonbury High School with an appearance at the State Open.
The Guardians grappler qualified for the State Open after a 5th place finish at the Class LL tournament on Feb. 19.
It was a succsessful debut for someone that had his first high school wiped away by the Covid-19 cancellation.
De La Rosa used that time to train and compete outside of school in travel leagues.
“I knew other states had a season and I wanted to make sure I had those matches. I didn't want to miss out while those other guys around were wrestling,” recalled De La Rosa.
He returned this winter and took the mat by storm, winning 15 of 18 matches and becoming one of the most reliable wrestlers on the team.
The Guardians only had one senior—Michael Maciolek—so De La Rosa was thrust into an important role this winter.
“This team is like a family, we really have a good family atmosphere,” said De La Rosa, who wrestled at 126 lbs. “In practice everyone is trying to help each other and we push ourselves hard. We don’t give up, we don’t quit, we just keep going. I love the guys and I love being with them.”
De La Rosa was introduced to the combat sport in third grade while living in New York City. He moved to Glastonbury in the fourth grade and took his passion to the next level.
He said living in a small town has helped him grow as a wrestler, adding, “It gives me a lot more opportunities. I wasn't able to do a lot of the stuff when I was younger and I’m able to do that here. Living in a small town environment lets you experience a lot more things that you wouldn’t in the city.”
Over the years, he has dabbled in soccer, baseball, and other athletic activities but nothing gave him the adrenaline rush of wrestling.
He competed in Pennsylvania with guys from all over the country and plans to wrestle in a tournament in Virginia Beach later this month and potentially a national tournament in Fargo, North Dakota later this year. The extensive wrestling and travel has allowed him to compete against the best-of-the-best in the wrestling community.
De La Rosa says he has fully “embrace the lifestyle”, basing his diet, exercise regimen, and daily life on what is best for his wrestling career.
“I love the whole wrestling culture,” added De La Rosa. “I love the sport; I love the process. I understand that a lot of people aren’t willing to make this commitment and I am one of the ones that can and I take pride in what I do.”
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin