There’s something about athletics that appeals to Fort Lupton High School’s Rylee Balcazar.
She’s won 10 varsity letters through her three years of high school: three letters each in softball, wrestling and soccer. Balcazar also won a letter in track and field as a sophomore.
“I quit track so I could focus more on soccer,” Balcazar said. “Wrestling is more my specialty. It’s more my type of thing. It’s a 1-v-1. If you lose, it’s on you. If you win, it’s on you. I like wrestling more than soccer.”
Balcazar won the state championship in 2022. She took fourth place among 105-pounders at this year’s state girls wrestling tournament in Denver. In 2021, she placed third.
“The sports keep me in shape for the others, except for softball – not really,” she laughed. “But wrestling and soccer, I can stay in shape for both sports. If I’m in shape for wrestling, I’m ready for soccer and vice versa.”
Her mother was a soccer player, and her dad was a wrestler.
“Softball? Some cousins played and got me in there,” she said. “I’m looking at wrestling for college, for sure. No question. I’m starting the (search) process soon. My goal is to leave the state, not far. But somewhere nice so I don’t have that regret of not leaving. I want to travel and get out of my comfort zone.”
When she started high school, Balcazar’s goal was to earn as many athletic letters as possible. So, in keeping with that, she wants to add cross country to her list next year. Cross country’s season is concurrent with softball.
“I love talking to people and making friends,” she said. “If I’m a striker (in soccer), I talk to the defenders, just make friends, just joke around. Everything is fun at home. Why just stay home if you can play as many sports as you can?”
“It helps me grow a lot, like with social skills,” Balcazar added. “It keeps me in shape, of course. Basically, it keeps me pushing through. It helps with confidence, motivation. It helps my laziness. It helps keep me in school. It helps me keep going.”