Two-time champion


Provided by Stephanie Negrete

Senior Stephanie Negrete faces down her opponent at a district match against Coppell on Feb. 3.

As far back as senior Stephanie Negrete can remember, she has been following in her older brother’s footsteps. Negrete watched her brother compete in wrestling all four years of his high school career, so when the time came for deciding what sport for her to choose, it was simple.  

Now a senior on the wrestling team, Negrete is the first girl at Hebron to become a district champion two years in a row. 

“I feel like I overachieved what I thought I would,” Negrete said. “I didn’t think I’d become [a] district champ, especially not the first girl at Hebron — [but then] I won districts last year. Then this year, I knew I [would be] able to win districts [and] I wanted to continue my title.”

Coach David Rozanski was the head coach of the wrestling team during Negrete’s first three years. This year, coach Jacob Green became the head coach. 

“She works really hard,” Green said. “In the beginning of the year, she would come in during fourth period because she has [the afternoon] off. [I would] worry about that [since] you can’t workout too many hours in a week. She’s just a good person, too, [since] she really tried to be a great leader for her team.”

During the season, Negrete practiced as much as six hours a day to improve. She would practice extra in the morning before school, during fourth period and after school to improve to get better for every new tournament. 

“I didn’t ever go to a tournament and get first last year, I always got second,” Negrete said. “I remember that [there] was one tournament at Fossil Ridge [where] I kept saying, ‘I refuse to lose, I refuse to lose.’ I remember that was the tournament [where] I got my very first, first place medal. That’s not a district tournament, it was just another tournament, [but] I that’s where my eyes really [opened] like, ‘This is why I love this sport.’”

With the responsibility of being a team leader, Negrete helps new people in the program. Senior Seoyun Lee joined last year and said she really appreciated Negrete’s help in learning to wrestle, as well as her support despite joining late in her high school career.

“She always [pushed] me whenever I [lost] a match because I [didn’t] know how to wrestle,” Lee said. “She’d always get me back up and be like, ‘This is fine; this is normal. Just take this as a lesson.’ She inspired me to keep going.”

While Negrete said she loved wrestling at Hebron, she doesn’t plan on continuing the sport in college. She plans on attending Collin College to get her basic credits and then transfer to a university to major in marketing or business administration.  

“Last year I was focused on winning, but this year wrestling was like my life,” Negrete said. “It took over me. I didn’t want to go out because I was just always focused on wrestling, and I was more determined this year to win because I knew it was my last year. I’m grateful that I was able to get districts [and] first place again — it definitely went [so much] better than I expected.”