Junior+Xander+Collazo+does+a+take+down+during+his+match+against+a+Spotswood+wrestler.

Dany T Medhin

Junior Xander Collazo does a take down during his match against a Spotswood wrestler.

Xander Collazo

Q: What sport do you play and why?

A: I did wrestling all four years of high school mainly because I didn’t make [the] JV basketball [team] my freshman year and I had… wrestling [experience] before.

Q: Describe your favorite moment/memory in your sport.

A: My favorite moment happened to be last year watching the 120 weight class state finals. They had gone into overtime. It was insane. They went into overtime and one kid was the reigning state champ and the other was ranked nationally. Even my coaches were going crazy saying it was the best match they’ve ever witnessed.

Q: What is the biggest takeaway that you have learned playing this sport?

A: It was an individual sport so I had nobody else to blame but myself. I learned how to take a loss and learn from it, not to let anger take over, respect, sportsmanship and mental strength.

Q: Describe a challenge you overcame in your sport and how you moved on.

A: A challenge I had to overcome was watching my weight every year. I had to stay away from fatty food and couldn’t really go overboard. Usually the nights before meets, I wouldn’t eat just so I could make weight. It took me time to adjust back into the wrestling atmosphere, but I am going to miss it.

Q: How long have you been playing your sport and what has it taught you?

A: I have wrestled for six years now, it would have been seven but I lost my senior season due to COVID-19. I’m fine with it because honestly my main sport is football and right now that is still on,[ but wrestling did teach me to have] faith and to trust the process.

Q: How would you say your experience in your sport has contributed to who you are today?

A: I’ve had my ups and downs with it. The emotions run high in this sport but I loved every second I had on the mat. Wrestling taught me to better control my emotions, if it weren’t for the sport I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. This sport made me a better man for sure. I learned self control, gained mental and physical strength.

Q: Do you plan to continue this sport in the future?  

A: I think my wrestling career is over. I enjoyed every minute of it though. It’s not that I want to play something else but I know I wasn’t the greatest nor good enough for college wrestling. The goal is to play football in college. I just know my worth between the two.

Q: Knowing what you know now, what is something you wish you could have told yourself on the first day you played your sport?

A: At some points I felt like giving up and lost faith because my freshman year I didn’t win a single match. I didn’t feel like wrestling ever again but [fellow senior] Anttwone [Washington] had my back and pushed me and made me better. ‘It’s not going to be easy, you have to have faith and stay strong to work on your craft and don’t worry about taking losses. You will get better. I know how big of a heart you have,’ is what I would tell myself if I could go back.

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