ANDOVER — It’s been a long, hard road for Lawrence senior Adrian Collado, but it took a turn in the right direction yesterday afternoon.
In the Lancers’ 66-6 romp over rival Greater Lawrence, Collado had his arm raised in victory for the first time on the varsity level when he recorded a late second-period pin at 138 pounds over solid Reggie Luis Tejada, who had entered the match 2-0 and held a 4-2 decision after the first period before Collado took control.
“It feels real good,” said Collado. “I kind of forgot how it feels to win. ... I like it, but I have to work a lot harder to be as good as I want to be.”
Collado might have been a varsity victor last year, but he battled grades and he dislocated his shoulder early in the season, limiting his potential. After the season, he dislocated it again and had corrective surgery. That prevented him from playing football this fall and put the wrestling season in jeopardy.
“I love football, and I think I would have started, so that was tough not playing,” said Collado, who wears a preventive brace to protect his shoulder “So I came back to wrestle to redeem myself..
“My Dad didn’t want me to wrestle. He said if I dislocate it again i can take myself to the hospital ... but I want to keep at it and have a good year.”
Obviously, that’s the kind of attitude that is music to the ears of Lawrence coach Rob Niceforo.
“I know his shoulder is hurting sometimes but he’s not complaining,” said Niceforo. “I’m happy for him. Hopefully, this will build his confidence. He’s an important part of our lineup.”
Nearly the entire lineup developed confidence as the Lancers won all but one weight class. All five captains — Hector Reynoso (106), Rizky Riyanto (113), Luis Severino (120), Jeremiah Damiron (145) and Henry Carpio (152) — were victorious and three of their wins came with pins in the first period.