The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


GMAC Prepares the Cavalier Wrestling Team for What is Up Ahead

The Cavaliers witnessed history as junior Kamora Willis became the first GMAC champion in school history
Courtesy of Cavalier Wrestling
The Lady Cavaliers stand together during one of their tournaments leading up to the GMAC.

The Cavalier wrestling team witnessed history on Jan. 25. Restraining her opponent’s ability to break free, junior Kamora Willis pinned her to the ground. The two athletes spun around in circles until Willis was awarded the point. She was crowned the Greater Athletic Miami Conference champion for her weight class.

Willis has completed the unthinkable. She is the first female wrestler in Coral Gables Senior High history to prevail in the GMAC tournament; she won four consecutive matches to gain this title.

Competing on different weekends, the boys and girls wrestling team ensured themselves to stay healthy for the upcoming matches. The girls wrestled first on Jan. 25 while the boys had their turn on Feb. 3. Respectively, they each prepared for their opponents by working on their moves and exercising more to cut weight for the tournament.

“We always run on the track, [ranging from] two miles to three. Then, we do some movements and get to work [in the wrestling training room],” senior Fabiola Briceño said.

This year is making a lot of sense to me why we practice and how they help me build character. [Wrestling takes] a lot of sacrifices like not eating junk, practicing everyday and missing out on fun,”

— junior Kamora Willis

There are five girls on the Cavalier wrestling team: junior Kamora Willis, senior Fabiola Briceño, junior LiAnn Tsang, senior Ashley James and sophomore Aracely Correa; each one of these athletes brings a different skill to the table. Their efforts put into wrestling for Gables did not go unnoticed during GMAC.

“I really have a [good] relationship with my teammates. We learn different things every day like to have a good mentality, saying to ourselves that everything is positive,” senior Briceño said.

The Monday after the girls wrestling team competed, it was the boys’ turn to grind each practice out. Devoting additional time to study moves and break down a match into feasible stages, the boys did everything to keep their eye on the prize. Coach Thomas J. Hardy left a message of encouragement before the Gables boys headed into the weekend.

“The team stayed an extra hour of practice to get more conditioning in. Our coach wants us to be more patient and to not rush the moves. Coach Hardy wants us to be more dominant [during the match]; strive for the win and not for the loss,” junior Ziad Kamal said.

Overall, the boys wrestling placed fourth in the district. Gables is now looking forward to the next stages of the season: districts. 

“I wrestled against Varela and Ferguson [at GMAC]. Our team has to work together and improve by the time districts came around. Coach Hardy motivates you during the match and tells us to keep working [on our game],” senior William Altamirano said.

Both squads intend to qualify for meets beyond the district championships. The future lies up ahead for this niche of Cavaliers. One thing is for certain however, you can always find the wrestlers after school in their sanctuary, otherwise known as the wrestling room.

“Some of them had some confidence going into GMAC and eventually districts and regionals […] Right now we are conditioning. The season is not over until the last person is done wrestling. So everyone comes out to support the [wrestlers] who are still left. That speaks to the family and the program we have [at Gables],” coach Hardy said.

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About the Contributor
Andres Rodriguez
Andres Rodriguez, CavsConnect Sports Editor

Andres Rodriguez is a junior and retains the title of CavsConnect Sports Editor. Studying in the International Baccalaureate program, Andres is looking forward to this year for many reasons. He runs for the boys cross country team and is focused on breaking 19 minutes and 15 seconds for a five kilometer race. His Catholic faith, family and teammates are what drives him in his races or casual runs whenever he has time. On campus, Andres is also part of the International Baccalaureate Honor Society and the National Spanish Honor Society boards. As far as extracurricular events, Andres hopes to attend pep rallies and possibly Homecoming. The IB classes and assessments will be time consuming but Andres still intends to hangout with friends, volunteer at mass and take his dog, Max, on more walks. Some skills Andres wants to refine are driving and cooking. Finally, Andres continues to embody this Bible verse, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” -Philippians 4:13. 

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