Alex Madrigal has been a placer at state the past three seasons, but his last chance at a title was almost taken away, thanks to a football injury in the Class A semifinals.
“I didn’t feel it because I had the adrenaline rush, so when the game was over, it was starting to hurt,” the senior wrestler said. “The next day I couldn’t walk on it. So I went to the doctor and got it checked.”
Doctors told him he had a torn MCL.
“I had to wear a brace for six weeks,” Madrigal said.
During the recovery time he’d still go to practices and give pointers to teammates. At his six-week check-up, the doctor told him the scar tissue would still cause some pain if he jumped into wrestling season. For Madrigal, it was an easy choice.
“I might as well fight through it then,” Madrigal said.
His season officially began two weeks ago at the East-West tournament.
“When he came back he was a little out of shape, a little slower,” senior Clay Mattern said, “but he’s working really hard in the wrestling room to get back where he was last year.”
He took third in his class that day, all while using a different stance to accommodate the pain in his knee.
“Certain moves I can feel it hurting really bad,” Madrigal said, “but sometimes I don’t get into that move, so I don’t even feel it half the time.”
So as he heads into his last state tournament, Madrigal will fight through it, and leave everything on the mat.