A Warrior’s Redemption

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MCALLEN – In the house of the Warriors nation, you can hear the slamming of the wrestling mats. Inside, Omar Aguinaga is on a mission, determined to improve after an early exit from last year’s regional tournament.

“I needed to get a lot stronger and a lot better in my technique,” said the Rowe junior. “Losing the matches that I did at the beginning of this year made me realize how much more work I needed to do in order to get to that level.”

Wrestling is not a sport typically known for buzzer-beating finishes, but that’s exactly what happened at regionals for Aguinaga. With 10 seconds left and trailing by one point, he scored a last-second takedown to win the 6A region IV title.

“We were both dead tired,” said Aguinaga. “My coach kept telling me to shoot and to get that  last takedown.”

“I just see his hands come right behind the guy’s knees and here we’ve always preached once you get those legs, you run,” said Rowe wrestling coach Arlan Garza.

Aguinaga joins 41 Valley wrestlers headed to the state meet. For him, being among that group is a dream come true.

“It’s pretty exciting honestly to be one of the only ones from the Valley to be able to go over there and represent,” said Aguinaga. “It truly means a lot to me.”

Aguinaga will be joined by Warrior teammate Petey Lozano, who qualified for state as an alternate in the 138-pound division.

The state meet begins Friday morning in Cypress.