Maine West wrestler 'lives and breathes this stuff' in winning state title
Monica Mendoza will be leaving Maine West High School this year, but in many ways, she won't.
The senior wrestler won a state title this year, pinning Joliet West’s Louisa Schwab at 127 pounds in the girls folkstyle competition. Last year, she became the first Warrior to qualify for the nationals in nearly two decades and the first girl from the school ever to qualify.
She took sixth place, earning her All-American status in her weight class of 125 pounds.
But athletic achievements aren't the only kind of legacy Mendoza leaves behind.
“She’s all about excellence and hard work,” head coach Chris Brassell told the North Cook News. “She was one of our captains this year, and the positive impact she had on the team was undeniable. She’s always trying to improve herself and the team. She lives and breathes this stuff in striving to her absolute best.”
It's pretty clear that Mendoza’s impact on the Maine West program will continue to be felt even after she departs for Oklahoma City University this year.
“We have two more girls in the program now, and their being here as a big part of what we’re doing almost certainly has something to do with Monica having been such a positive force for us,” Brassell said. “She paved the way forward.”
Brassell said he wasn't surprised by Mendoza's success.
“It’s a testament to how hard she works and how serious she is about her craft,” he said. “She’s trained with the best and she knows she can compete with them.”
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