METHUEN — Most 12-year-olds would be intimidated by such summer plans.
For seven weeks, from June 15-Aug. 6 as a member of the prestigious Ohio All-Star wrestling team, Matt Cabezas will be thousands of miles away from his family traveling around the western part of the country and into Canada.
The sixth grade standout from Methuen will not only train at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs but compete at sites from Wyoming to Nevada, California and Oregon with a trip into Vancouver as well.
It’s an ambitious schedule, training and competing with some of the premier grades 6-9 wrestlers in the country, one that can only further enhance his career.
But again, for most 12-year-olds from what’s considered provincial New England, it’s a scary proposition to be so far away from family and friends.
Cabezas, however, has shown that he’s not like most 12-year-olds. His accomplishments on the mat which include titles in 12 national tournaments — are already nearly legendary and undoubtedly been a boon to his confidence.
That’s probably why, when offered the opportunity to be a member of the Ohio All-Star team, Cabezas didn’t hesitate.
“When my Dad (Kevin) told me about it, I said yes right away,” said Cabezas. “It’s just such a big honor and I’m excited about it. Not many kids get this opportunity.”
Indeed, the Ohio All-Star team has been in existence since 1983 and has attracted numerous All-Americans and current college coaches, many of whom cite this experience as a turning point in their career.
Cabezas, who attends the Timmony School in Methuen, has already had an astounding career, with victories and titles so bountiful that his name is well known throughout New England.
Since the first grade, he’s won 12 national titles, including twice at the highly-regarded Empire Games. Three years ago, he won the Northeast Nationals in Pennsylvania and was named the Outstanding Wrestler.