Wrestlers take first in states

First time in 21 years McKinley gets multiple state titles

Alexandria Buchanan, editor

One year ago, wrestlers Laulii Iosefa and Ezekiel Samuelu both placed third in states, but they weren’t satisfied. This season, the duo both brought home first place state titles in their weight classes.

“I had to stay positive and work harder,” Samuelu said. “I feel happy knowing how hard we worked this season.”

McKinley hasn’t held multiple state wrestling titles in 21 years, making these seniors not only state champions, but history makers.

“I worked way harder and practiced more on what I was junk on,” Iosefa said. “I just worked hard and put God first in everything I did.”

These improvements from last season didn’t come easy. Iosefa and Samuelu both worked extremely hard, and had a lot of support from coaches, teammates, and family.

“I think he [Iosefa] did really good this wrestling season,” Iosefa’s mother, Danielle Iosefa, said. “Just staying focused, working hard, and staying humble.”

The two wrestlers had to work extremely hard this season to get the results they did. It took a lot of commitment and time to condition and working on moves at practice, watching what they ate, and working out on their own. Iosefa and Samuelu wanted to make sure their senior was a success.

Samuelu’s mother, Shanel Samuelu said, “[Ezekiel] pushes his skills to the limits and he knows he can always get better. On the mats we saw more focus and alertness compared to previous seasons.”

These two student athletes have worked hard all season to make family, coaches, and teammates proud. Their improvement from last season not only brought home two state titles, but can be used as a lesson to all.

“This is a beginning of a new era at McKinley. We know that there are kids out there who can achieve anything if they strive and aim high,” said Shanel Samuelu. “Never doubt yourself, and when you fall pick yourself up again.”