ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – For a local wrestling team, the journey to nationals is just as tough as the competition they will face once they get there.
Marcus loves to wrestle and his dad loves to coach. But their fight starts long before they reach the mat and their local junior club team has more to fight for than the average squad.
Marcus isn’t the largest wrestler on the team, but makes up for it with heart.
“It’s hard, but I get out there and I wrestle my hardest,” said Marcus Olguin, a Team Silver Wrestler.
Smaller than his peers, something his dad knows all too well.
“I get emotional, he’s a little guy like I was, he’s wrestling 106 weighing 81,” said John Olguin, father and coach.
For the Olguins and some of their junior club teammates, the obstacles they face when wrestling are not just the other wrestlers — making it to the tournaments is just as tough.
“Not everyone can afford to go, that’s why we try to put together a lot of fundraising activities,” said Hyunh.
So the Olguins hit the streets to fundraise to enter tournaments. This time, it’s the big one – a national tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“We go to Walmart and buy waters. We don’t sell them for $1, we don’t sell them for anything. It’s a donation,” said John.
They are entering this tournament under the name “Team Silver.” In memory of Jayden Chavez Silver – a dear teammate who was murdered last year. It gives the wrestlers extra motivation.
“To pay our respects to Jayden and hopefully we do well out there, so hopefully he’s looking down smiling,” said Huynh.
“Whenever I wrestle, he’s looking down and me and telling me to be confident at what I do,” said Marcus.”
For the wrestlers on Team Silver, their journey has given them training that cannot be taught on a mat. And in his heart — Marcus knows if he can just make it to nationals, he’ll have a fighting chance.
“I have confidence in myself that I am going to win,” said Marcus.
There will be ten athletes entering as Team Silver. As of now, Marcus and one of his teammates are both about $100 away from reaching their goals. The “Freak Show” Wrestling Tournament is coming up at the end of October.