Folsom Athlete of the Week: Desinee LopezBy: Matt Long, Sports Editor
Folsom High junior wrestler Desinee Lopez placed sixth in the state last year in the girls’ 116-pound weight class. This year’s she’s hoping to place even higher.
Lopez is off to a great start with a 20-1 record, and she avenged her only loss by beating the opponent from Tokay who beat her by major decision in a tournament held two weekends ago.
“Desinee is a returning state place, All-American, and one of our team captains,” Folsom coach Mike Collier said. “She has a great work ethic, and does things the right way.”
Folsom Telegraph: You’ve only been wrestling about four years and already have placed sixth in the state last year as a sophomore, and earned All-American status over the summer by placing seventh at Cadet Freestyle Nationals. What do you attribute this success to?
Desinee Lopez: I think my success has a lot to do with the support I’m given, not just by my family but by my coaches and teammates as well.
FT: Your older brothers, David and Daniel, are wrestlers. How much do you wrestle with them and how much have they helped you?
DL: I wrestle with them both often at practice when going live. I can also confidently say that I would not be where I am right now if they hadn’t beat on me and worked me hard while I was just starting. Heck, they still do now sometimes.
FT: Female wrestling is a growing sport, but there are times when girls wrestle boys. How do you approach wrestling a male? Is it any different than wrestling a female? Even though you are in the same weight class, are you as confident wrestling a male as you are a female?
DL: I think that there can be some differences when wrestling a female or male; usually a male will be stronger even if we are the same weight class. I never let the fact that I’m wrestling a male or female change my confidence in the match because I will always wrestle how I wrestle.
FT: How many younger brothers and sisters do you have? Do they wrestle? Is Coach Collier going to have more Lopez kids coming through the program for years to come?
DL: I have four brothers and three sisters all of whom are younger except for David, who is one year older than me. All of my siblings wrestle except for three month baby, of course, and Anthony who is 1 1/2 , but I know for sure they will get into it too and that Coach Collier will have plenty of fun with them.
FT: You told me that the best thing about wrestling is winning. What do you feel are your strengths that have helped you to a 20-1 record so far this season?
DL: I think that this season I have been more focused on working what is given to me during matches and I stopped looking for specific things that I wanted to do.
FT: What’s your mindset before a match? What are you thinking about?
DL: I tend to repeat what my dad likes to say to me which is, “One move, one round, one match at a time.” It keeps me calm and focused.
FT: What songs are on your playlist when you are preparing for a match?
DL: Usually a lot of different songs from Post Malone, Drake, Bruno Mars, or Pink. Every now and then I’ll listen to my Dad’s old school rap playlist... you know Brass Monkey?
FT: What are your goals for this season?
DL: My goal is to hopefully place higher at the state tournament this year.
FT: What is your favorite class in school this year and why?
DL: It would have to be Psychology because I’m genuinely interested in it.
FT: You are a self-professed junk food addict (Flaming Hot Cheetos being a favorite), how does that work with trying to maintaining a certain weight?
DL: My dad or step-mom will hide the Hot Cheetos from me when I have to make weight. It’s pure torture and I go through major withdrawal.
FT: You love to read. What are your favorite books?
DL: It’s Fighting For Life by Kylie Alyssa and the Silence series by Natasha Preston. They are amazing and heart-wrenching stories.