gmhTODAY 21 gmhToday Aug Sept 2018 - Page 97

Anthony (Tony) Andrade is a league, state and national champion wrestler at 195 lb. for Gilroy High School. He also played defensive end on the Gilroy High championship football team. In his senior year at GHS, Tony ran into some issues with poor grades. Here was a nationally-ranked athlete who was not cutting it academically. Matt Corona and family stepped into the picture. Matt himself wrestled at GHS and in college. He tried out for an Olympic wrestling spot. Throughout Tony’s career Matt had been a mentor and friend. Matt and his family (in photo below) offered a solution. Tony would move in with them for the rest of the year. While Matt would continue to monitor Tony’s wrestling, the Corona family would provide focus and support for Tony’s academics and graduation. The formula worked. Tony played football and then moved into wrestling taking top honors in his weight class in the local CCS, (Central Coast Section), state honors at CIF (California Interscholastic Federation), and national honors at NHSCA (National High School Coaches Association). Tony graduated from Gilroy High School this spring and will be heading to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in August. Tony is a gentle soul in a 195-pound athlete’s body. He is honest and straightforward. He has overcome adversity. In high school he tore his ACL, recovered and went on to earn championships. He faced his academic shortcomings, studied and is now on his way to college. Tony is one who elevates those around him. This summer he has been working with a wrestling “boot camp” for kids in grades 2 to 8. He also holds down a part-time job at Sarah’s Vineyard. In college he hopes to acquire a degree in sociology that might allow him to return to the area and maybe work as a counselor at the Boy's Ranch. While Tony might not have had been given every- thing he deserved in life, he has learned the value of determination, courage, hard work and community. He has the heart of a champion and has a great future …thanks to family, friends, teammates, coaches and mentors. “Competing in college has always been a dream of mine; however, my priority is to obtain my degree and go back to my community and become a mentor for the future generation.” GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2018 97