Amarillo High’s Faith Anderson will compete in the 148 pound weight class at the UIL Class 5A State Wrestling Tournament at the Berry Center in Cypress on Friday. [Ben Jenkins/ Press Pass Sports]
Wrestling is more than just a sport to Amarillo High’s Faith Anderson.
It’s become a way of life, and brought a new level of confidence she never knew she had.
Anderson will take that confident attitude to Cypress in hopes of bringing home gold when she competes at the University Interscholastic Class 5A State Wrestling Tournament at the Berry Center in Cypress on Friday.
“I was a freshman when I really got into wrestling,” Anderson said. “It really just helped me open up as a person. I was really shy and quiet, but being able to come and wrestle everyday really gave me confidence. It’s a part of who I am now.”
Anderson has turned into the Lady Sandies leader, as well as a top wrestler in Class 5A.
So far this season the senior is 22-1 overall, and is recently coming off an epic performance at the Region I-5A Tournament.
Anderson earned the Most Outstanding Wrestler at the regional meet. Wrestling out of the 148-pound weight division, Anderson owned the mat earning pins in under three minutes during her quarterfinal and semifinals, then followed that up with a pin of Jazmine Garcia of El Paso Ysleta at the 2:00 minute mark.
Now her goal is to carry that momentum down to state after finishing eighth a year ago.
“I’m excited to get back to state,” Anderson said. “I moved up a weight class and improved quite a bit. Mentally, I’m setting myself to win it all. I do expect it to be challenging, but I’m going to do my best and compete.”
Anderson’s improvement on and off the mat through her career at AHS attributes to her relationship with head wrestling coach, Greg Clear. Clear and Anderson share a unique bond that goes well past teacher and student.
“Faith is like the daughter I don’t have,” Clear said. “She’s been in our program since she was a freshman. She’s a great young person, and great leader for the team. She’s the kind of kid you want your kids to grow up and be like.”
Anderson felt the same about her coach.
“Coach Clear is a father figure to me,” Anderson said. “He’s always there for me. There are some coaches that feel competition is more important than building relationships, but coach Clear, as much as he loves to compete, takes his time to be there for you on a personal level.”
Caprock sends three to state
Caprock won the Region I-3A championship, qualifying three Lady Longhorns to the state meet.
Tatiana Garcia was the regional champion in the
119-pound weight class boasting a 22-0 record.
Joining Garcia is Jaden Culifer (138-pounds) and Niyasia McCampbell (185-pounds).
Texas Panhandle girls state qualifiers
Avery Stout, Randall, Jr.
Season record: 16-2
Zurri Zamora, Tascosa, Fr.
Season record: 23-3
Jaryn Ortegon, Randall, Jr.
Season record: 20-1
Miliyah Pacheco, Tascosa, Fr.
Season record: 21-4
Audalie Cruz, Palo Duro, Sr.
Season record: 9-2
Avery Martinez, Randall, Jr.
Season record: 21-2
Tatiana Garcia, Caprock, Jr.
Season record: 22-0
Elsaiah Cruz, Tascosa, Sr.
Season record: 22-2
Emily Loya, Dumas, So.
Season record: 26-4
Valeria Ordonez, Dumas, Sr.
Season record: 22-7
Jaden Culifer, Caprock, Jr.
Season record: 19-1
Faith Anderson, Amarillo High, Sr.
Season record: 21-1
Savannah Chavira, Hereford, Sr.
Season record: 18-1
Niyasia McCampbell, Caprock, Jr.
Season record: 19-2