4A STATE WRESTLING, SOUTHWEST MOTORS EVENT CENTER, PUEBLO, COLO.
By: Cassadi Baker
Sports have looked a lot different this year, but that didn’t discourage Pueblo County High School senior Eric Griego Jr., better known as Animal. Wrestling is something Griego has been passionate about for 15 years. His grandfather, Eppie Griego started taking him to lessons at the age of three while his father, Eric Griego Sr. was in Iraq. Throughout high school, Griego has won a few national tournaments not affiliated with PCHS and he was on national dual teams over summer.
Saturday, March 13, 2021, Griego and his teammates headed to the 4A Wrestling State Championship at the Southwest Motors Event Center planning to dominate the competition. Working his way through the bracket, Griego did just that. The hard work put in over the years led him to a 4A State title for the 120 lb. weight class.
Griego stated, “To me the most rewarding aspect of wrestling is being able to see where I started and how far I’ve come. All the accolades pile up but that isn’t the point of it for me personally. Over the years you have many wins and losses. Those losses teach lessons and the wins can also be learned from. Overall wrestling is just being able to embrace the hard times and overcome adversity in a good way. It’s just like life, there’s ups and downs, and the harder you work the more successful you will be. Of course there will be haters and naysayers but you can either let it drive you or drown you. Also, there are many sacrifices to be made but they will pay off in the long run. It’s made me the person I am today.”