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PVHS freshman John Becker, sporting a 14-3 record, led the Prairie View Thunderhawks to center mat in Thursday night’s wrestling bout against the Denver East High School …
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PVHS freshman John Becker, sporting a 14-3 record, led the Prairie View Thunderhawks to center mat in Thursday night’s wrestling bout against the Denver East High School Angels. Becker is ranked in the top 10 in the state heading into the final weeks of the season and he has goals of not only heading to the Pepsi Center in February, but taking 103-pound weight class title. He knows he has some work ahead of him.
“My goal is to take state as a freshman. I don’t know if that’s ever been done before,” Becker said, watching his team roll to a 54-19 victory over Denver East.
But as the matches were announced for that night’s meet, he realized he would be little more than another cheerleader on the sidelines. The Angels did not have a wrestler in his weight class and he recorded a forfeit, moving his record to 15-3.
“He’s placed in every tournament he’s wrestled,” ThunderHawks coach Jason Humphrey said. “And he has a legitimate chance of being a state qualifier.”
Don’t let Becker’s small stature take anything away from his big heart and his big role on the team. The 16-year-old is growing into a team leader.
“It’s a passion I have. Wrestling is an individual sport and when you’re on the mat it’s all about you,” Becker said. “But we have a strong team and a great coach. The team’s done really well this year.”
He admits, sometimes I’m a little nervous” when leading his teammates on to the mat.
“But I love it,” he added. “I can’t get enough of it.”
He began wrestling at the age of 8 and has spent more than half of his life grappling. He gets a lot of help from his older brothers, Cody and Ricky. Ricky Becker is the PVHS star at 112-pounds, but a shoulder injury has him sidelined for the time being.
“I wrestle my way. I’m better on my feet. I like to control the pace of the match and don’t let my opponents score any points,” the youngest Becker said. His favorite move on the mat, a simple arm bar.
“I hope he peaks at the right time for state,” Humphrey said of his 103-pounder. “With a lot of determination, I can see him placing as a freshman this year.
“He’s got a really good chance of doing well at state. It’s up to him,” Humphrey added.
But to get to that podium, Becker will have to go through Amelio Martinez of Greeley West – the top-ranked wrestler at 103. In the meantime, he faces Jordan Priola tonight at Brighton High and then is back on the mat at Skyview Thursday.
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