Central’s Holdren signs to wrestle for Mavericks

He was in first grade, and it was one of his first wrestling matches.

Willy Holdren had just signed up to wrestle with the Little Warriors, and Central High School wrestling coach Laurence Gurule, also the Little Warriors’ coach, remembers the match.

Holdren was wrestling Gurule’s nephew, Matthew Gurule, who ended up winning two state championships at Central.

“(Holdren) got beat on,” Laurence Gurule said. “But he handled it OK. He came back.”

Good thing. Last season, Holdren placed sixth at 152 pounds at the Class 5A state wrestling championships. On Tuesday at Central, the senior signed to wrestle at Colorado Mesa University.

“It’s been my dream to be an All-American since I was a little kid, something I want,” Holdren said.

Not only is Holdren familiar with some of the Mesa wrestlers and coach Chuck Pipher, his decision was simple because he gets to compete in the sport he loves.

“I like it because it’s not a team sport,” Holdren said. “If there’s a mistake, it’s on you.”

Holdren, who has been a Central team captain two consecutive seasons, said he won’t be thinking about wrestling in college as he prepares for the upcoming wrestling season.

“I’m just focused on wrestling,” he said. “I’m not worrying about the future.”

Obviously, Holdren’s goal is a state championship.

“First of all, he’s very talented and he works hard,” Gurule said.

That’s been the case since he was in first grade, Gurule said. Holdren has remained a dedicated wrestler, in part because of his family’s ties to the Little Warriors.

Holdren’s mom, Jenny, is a team mom, his father, Bucky, coaches, and his younger brother, Weston, wrestles.

“Willy is just someone who sticks out in my head,” Gurule said, “because he’s a great kid and because of all the help we’ve gotten from the family.”

Eleven years of coaching Holdren will come to an end this season.

“And that’s OK,” Gurule said. “I can still watch him at Mesa.”


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