Lovejoy Wrestlers Bring Home Gold and Silver
Lovejoy High School senior Morgan Elvin and freshman Avery Ashley medaled at the 2019 UIL State Wrestling Championships held at Berry Center in Cypress, TX Feb. 22 - 23. Elvin earned the title of UIL 5A State Champion and Ashley earned the title UIL 5A State Runner Up.
Elvin describes her final match, “We were both aggressive in the first period. My opponent shot at me and I countered her shot and received a takedown and received two points.” She said she knew she had won gold when she pinned her opponent in the final match. The win was solidified when the referee hit the mat and blew the whistle. She said she felt shocked when she realized she had won, “I couldn’t believe it. I was really happy and hugged my coach. I made a quick exit to the hallway to happy cry.”
Ashley said when she realized she had won silver she was very excited, “I went further in the tournament than was expected; I high fived all of my coaches.” She said during her semi-finals match, she took a lot of double leg takedowns and was able to stay in a dominant position.
The Lovejoy women’s varsity wrestling team began practicing in Oct. Since Jan., they have practiced every day after school from 3:45 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. Elvin said she works out with some members of the men’s wrestling team to build up her strength and endurance. Each practice includes drills and reviewing technique. Elvin is also a member of the volleyball team. Ashley is also a member of the cross country, track and lacrosse teams. She believes that working out throughout the year is part of her secret to wrestling success.
Elvin began wrestling when she was in 7th grade. She said, “I started because my older brother wrestled. I grew up watching him. I tried it in middle school and liked it, so I stuck with it.” Ashley began wrestling a year ago. She said, “My mom and dad wanted me to try it out. I liked it, so I stayed.”
They both agreed that the opportunity to be competitive is their favorite aspect of wrestling. Elvin said, “Last year I placed sixth at State. Being able to wrestle allowed me to have a healthy way to handle the aggression I felt towards placing sixth. I love competing and working hard towards a goal.”
Elvin and Ashley explained how being wrestlers has changed who they are. Elvin said, “It makes me unique, it’s another conversation point. When people meet me, they don’t expect me to be a wrestler.” Ashley said, “I am more mentally tough. I have learned how to handle losses. I’ve developed mentally and emotionally.”
They offer advice to younger girls interested in wrestling. Elvin said, “Come out and try it. It’s definitely not like what people think it is like. It’s not like WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment). This is a very disciplined sport. You’ll never know if you like it if you don’t try it.” Ashley said, “Give it a try. Just because you might start a season rough, give it time, there’s room to grow during the wrestling season.”
Elvin voiced appreciation for her family and friends. She said, “Some people don’t like the sport of wrestling. My family and friends have been very supportive because they know how much I enjoy this sport.” She also said how thankful she is for Head Wrestling Coach Mike Eaton and that he has taken on somewhat of a father figure role in her life. Ashley said the coaches have given her great corrections and enabled her to grow as a wrestler.
Coach Eaton describes attributes he sees in Elvin and Ashley that brought them to this level of success, “They have a strong work ethic. They are not afraid to work and are very coachable. They are attune to criticism and are ready to make adjustments.” Advice he gives to young girls interested in becoming wrestlers, “Don’t be a female wrestler, be a wrestler!” This is Coach Eaton’s seventh year as a wrestling coach at Lovejoy.
Elvin is 17 years old and has lived in Lucas since second grade. She does not plan to continue wrestling, but might be a manager at some point. Ashley is 15 years old and has lived in Fairview since before she entered kindergarten. She plans to continue wrestling.