Harrison junior in hunt to leave a wrestling legacy

By Marcus Hill

The Southeast Express

Off the wrestling mat, Harrison High School’s Nestor Torrez is an energetic joy. On the mat, he’s a charismatic force who the opposition struggles to stop.

Torrez made that evident on Jan. 22 during the  Harrison wrestling team’s dual against Gateway at Thorpe Gymnasium. Torrez (16-6) earned a first-period pin at 170 pounds — in 18 seconds — over Gateway’s Cesar Albelmo.

The Panthers’ junior radiates energy, and he understands how to focus it to dismantle his opposition whichever way he sees fit.

“Every match, win or lose, I leave it all on the mat,” Torrez said. “I’m not going to go out there and give them a sorry match. I want to be that dude who, if I’m up, 15-0, I still try my best or if I’m down, 15-0, I still try my best.”

The savvy style and energetic demeanor wasn’t always as present. As a freshman, Torrez said, he didn’t have the same belief.

Until….

“I noticed after matches people would come up to me and say, ‘Hey, man, you’re a fighter,’” Torrez said. “Sophomore year I started taking things seriously and never gave up.”

Coach Chris Mason noticed that same motor in his star 170-pounder.

“It’s 100 percent intensity from the first whistle to the last whistle,” Mason said. “He doesn’t stop wrestling. There have been other coaches who have come up to me and complimented his style of wrestling and (given) him accolades about it. If you’re not ready to match that energy, it’s going to be difficult.”

Mason noted the uptick in Torrez’s already-brilliant drive following the then-sophomore’s visit to the Pepsi Center in Denver for the state wrestling tournament. Torrez competed at 152 and went 0-2 in his first taste of state action.

His thirst for success wasn’t satiated by simply advancing to the tournament.

“Once you see what it’s like, you get that taste … and you want to go back,” Mason said. “What I’ve seen in him is moving from an underclassman who could have a chance to go to the state tournament last year to an upperclassman who has the mindset that he should be going back.”

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During the Colorado Springs Metro Wrestling Championship at Doherty High School on Jan. 25, Torrez earned nine of Harrison’s 17 points and finished sixth in his weight class. He finished 3-3 and lost a 3-1 decision to Fountain-Fort Carson’s Wyatt Price in the fifth-sixth place match.

While Torrez knows he has room for improvement, he also realizes that he can have a historic career as a Panthers wrestler. And while he hopes to ascend the podium to collect a state medal for Harrison High School in February, Torrez has his sites set on another sort of title.

“I want to leave my mark at Harrison,” Torrez said. “I don’t want to be that dude who is like, ‘Oh, I did enough for this match.’ I’m always going to give my best at the end of the day.”

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