By ARMANDO GARZA
Special to the NEWS
GARLAND — For a couple of years, Paola Gonzalez tried different sports but just never found the perfect fit.
Then came wrestling.
Gonzalez, a sophomore, not only flourished in girls’ wrestling, but she became pretty good at it.
Make that VERY good.
Gonzalez, along with junior Christy Satterfield, each qualified for the state wrestling tournament in their respective weight classes and hope to come back from the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland to San Benito with some hardware to show for it.
“I feel excited and happy,” Gonzalez said Friday while readying for her first match in the 215-pound weight class. “I never thought I would make it this far in my first year. Now that I did it I feel proud of myself.”
After trying out other sports and not really scratching the itch, a cousin encouraged Gonzalez to try wrestling. That was the only nudge she needed.
“She’d always tell me about it and was always talking about it,” Gonzalez said of her cousin. “I tried every other sport so I thought I could make it in wrestling. I just like everything about it. I feel like it’s my sport.”
The state trip also served as a milestone for Satterfield, the unquestioned leader of the Lady ‘Hounds squad. Last year, the talented grappler advanced to state as an alternate but did not get to hit the mat. That, along with the injury bug served as the drive she needed to get over the hump this year.
“It feels really good to advance to state and get to wrestle,” said Satterfield, who was set to wrestle in the 102-pound class. “My goal was to get to state this year and get a medal. That’s what I’m hoping for.”
Satterfield battled through injuries this year and overcame the adversity to punch her ticket to state and said the setbacks made strive even more.
“This year was a lot harder and there were more struggles,” she explained. “I’m the captain of our team and I had to lead and it was harder. So I’m glad I was able to make it to state.”
Lady ’Hounds wrestling coach Crispin Lopez said he was immensely proud of both girls for advancing to represent the program at the state level.
“Christy is a hard worker and has always been the leader of our group,” Lopez said. “And Paola was a pleasant surprise, this being her first year. We’re hoping they can do well.”
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