Junior Katarina Fernandez wanted to try a sport when she started high school so tried out for wrestling. Instantly, she loved the competitiveness and the independent aspect of the sport. “When I told my parents about me joining wrestling, my mom and dad were very supportive and only a little surprised because I had done Mixed Martial Arts for three years before high school,” Fernandez says.
This year, Fernandez leads the wrestling team. As captain, she tries to stay confident in herself, while motivating and spreading positivity to her team members. “You have to believe you can do it, or else it won’t happen,” said Fernandez.
Fernandez wishes for their current team of about 10 to grow into a much larger family. Her wish is to one day have a girls wrestling team. Although she realizes that this will not happen anytime soon, one day it can be possible; some nearby schools have separate girls and boys teams today, with their girls team sometimes having upwards to 100 competitors.
Fernandez’s personal goals include making it to CIF, learning more about herself and healthy living through competing, and encouraging others to try out the sport. She also wants to work hard in maintaining her positive attitude win or lose. “I’ve learned a lot about myself and how to take losses. I know it sounds cliche but, when you fail at anything, you just need to get back up and keep trying.”
Although Fernandez is only a junior, she already has plans for the future. She hopes to continue wrestling after high school. If she doesn’t end up wrestling, she will at least continue Mixed Martial Arts as a hobby. Through all the sprints, miles, stairs, and weights, Fernandez says, “[Wrestling] is the one thing I look forward to at the end of the day.”