With a stroke of the pen, Fort Lupton High School's Alondra Becerra became the first female wrestler from the Bluedevils to sign a college letter of intent to continue in the sport.
She signed on with Hastings College during a ceremony in Fort Lupton April 30.
"I really wanted to wrestle. I was accepted to other places, but they didn't really have a wrestling program," Becerra said. "They were my first choice. I was like, 'Let's go somewhere far but not too far from home.'"
"When you're dealing with things inside school, chasing kids, this fulfills me at the end of the day, to honor kids, to see all of you on a Friday night after you've put in your work for the day. It means a lot," said FLHS athletic director Jim Roedel.
Becerra won 14 of her 16 matches this season. She finished sixth in the regional tournament at FLHS.
"I was set on going on Hastings since they offered. It was the first college where I was accepted, the first college to offer me anything," Becerra said. "I'll take it. Everyone was like, 'Apply here, apply here' as a back-up.' I got accepted into those, and now I have options. But after seeing those options, I ended up coming back to Hastings."
"The first year, it was a rough year," said coach Chris Tijerina. "The second year, she did better. She did well enough that Hastings recognized that and reached out to her."
Becerra wants to study criminology and become a psychiatric nurse.
"I took a psychology class in high school. I've always had an interest in criminology, so I thought, 'Let's put those two together,' and then add nursing. I have a lot of nurses in my family," she said. "I can go into nursing as well."
Roedel said 7 percent of high-school athletes get the chance to play college sports at any level -- NCAA Division I, Division II, Division II I -- or even at the NAIA level.
"Every other kid was in the top 7 percent of their class,' Roedel said. "It's an amazing opportunity for you. It shows the commitment inside the wrestling room and in the classroom."
Becerra's feelings about her future run the table.
"There will be some days when I'm so excited to leave. There are other days when I'm terrified, what if I don't like it over there? What if things go wrong?" Becerra said. "One of my biggest lessons from wrestling and softball is you just do it right now. There's no unknown."
Recruiting during a pandemic was strange for a lot of high-school athletes, and Becerra's experience was no different.
"We didn't have a lot of people come (to Fort Lupton's matches), and it was mostly duals," she said. "There were no tournaments. So, they came out and looked at me before the pandemic. It was a good thing. We were so scared our wrestling season wasn't going to happen. All we were focused on was building muscle to get into shape."
"When Alondra had an off day, the whole team practiced like crap. The team wrestlers like crap," Tijerina said. "Everyone clings to her."
"You are and always will be the first female wrestler from Fort Lupton to sign a college letter. That can never be taken away from you," Roedel said.
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