Sports Wrestling

Junior de la Rocha brings direction, dedication to wrestling team

Photo by Bryce Owen ’17 | Gabe De La Rocha ’18 runs sprints during practice Nov. 7. De La Rocha is a captain for the wrestling team, and he is a source fo motivation for the rest of the team.

By Jack Davis ’19

Gabe de la Rocha ’18 received the most votes for captain of the 2016-17 wrestling team.

The intriguing part about it—he did it as a junior.

De la Rocha said that his duty as a captain is to be a source of guidance to the team.

“I, as well as the other co-captains, bring leadership to the team,” de la Rocha said. “It’s our job to make the team feel like a family, those guys are like my brothers. I’m always there to help them.”

Wrestling head coach Mr. Wayne Catan said that de la Rocha is completely devoted to Brophy wrestling.

“He has set high goals for himself, and he is doing everything right to ensure he achieves those goals,” Mr. Catan said. “He’s a good student, he’s the hardest worker in the wrestling room, he’s the hardest worker in the weight room.”

“He carries himself well, especially on the mat and off the mat,” he added. “When we’re away or at home, he embodies everything that Brophy stands for.”

De la Rocha said that he hopes to inspire his teammates to stick with wrestling because of the values it has provided him.

“It’s a grueling, exhausting, sport, but in the end, it’s where I found the best group of friends I could ask for,” de la Rocha said.

“It taught me dedication, it has done so much for me,” he added. “I just want to share that same feeling with my team, especially the underclassmen.”

De la Rocha’s teammate Jacob Robles ’19 said that his captain’s perseverance is his greatest attribute.

“Gabe never quits, no matter the opponent,” Robles said.

De la Rocha said that the offseason is integral to improving as a wrestler.

“Improving in wrestling is all about the offseason, that’s when you really study the craft and find what works with your style,” he said.

“I’ve participated in the offseason by wrestling both Freestyle and Greco-Roman,” he added. “Also, I’ve participated in camps over the summer.”

Mr. Catan said that it is not easy to be picked as a captain before one’s senior season.

“It’s quite rare,” he said. “However, this year we have three junior captains and that’s a testament to those three men. The other two are Luke Jacobs ’18 and Brogan Smith ’18.”

Gabe did receive the most votes, not based on his accomplishments last year but based on what he did this spring and summer,” Mr. Catan added.

While wrestling plays a big part in his life right now, de la Rocha is unsure if he’ll continue it in college.

“I’m not sure if I’ll wrestle in college,” he said. “Only time will tell I guess.”

However, de la Rocha already knows what job field he’d like to go into.

“I’m definitely thinking about going into the medical or engineering field,” de la Rocha said.

When he isn’t on the mat, de la Rocha enjoys being with family and friends, cooking and exercising.

De la Rocha said that wrestling has helped him improve his diet.

“I’ve learned to cook healthy food like grilled meats, quinoa and salads,” he said. “A big part of wrestling is diet. Knowing what’s best for your body is key.”

De la Rocha said that his faith plays a big part in his life and is a source of inspiration.

“God is No. 1 for me, and after that, it’s the people who keep me going,” he said. “I’ve learned so much from my family, teammates, coaches.”

“I’m so thankful to have them, because everyday I can look back and see the progress I’ve made not only in wrestling, but in academics and in my personal life,” de la Rocha added. “It’s all because of them. And I thank God for having them in my life.”

De la Rocha said that he feels grateful to be presented with his opportunity.

“I’m so thankful to have this position and especially thankful to share this position with such an amazing group,” he said.