Henry Majano stood on the wrestling mat at Fairfax High School and acknowledged his supporters in the stands, pointing to them after achieving the second step of his season-long goal.
The Wakefield junior captured the 130-pound Northern Region championship on Saturday, defeating Robinson’s Santigo Valdez by decision, 3-2. Now, Majano looks to complete his task with a state title on Feb. 19 at Robinson Secondary School.
"Two goals are met," Majano said, "but we’ve got one more to go."
Majano became the first Wakefield wrestler since 1988 to win a region championship. He secured a 2-0 lead with a first-period takedown and led for the remainder of the match, improving his season record to 40-0.
Wakefield head coach Jeff Humphries said he didn’t expect Majano to be undefeated at this point, but knew the Warrior grappler had talent when he saw him in action as a middle schooler. Majano’s work ethic put him over the top.
"Was [a region title] in his grasp? Did he have the potential? Yeah," Humphries said. "When you work as hard as that kid does; absolutely."
Majano’s championship helped Wakefield finish in a tie for 16th place with 42 points. Senior 145-pounder Victor Leavell finished sixth.
Humphries said Majano’s grades have improved while focusing on wrestling and the junior is on the honor roll. His work ethic and infectious smile have caught the attention of his Wakefield teammates.
Majano hopes to give the Warriors one more reason to cheer: a state championship.
"The rest of the team is here to support him, which is odd. That’s rare," Humphries said after Majano’s region title. "These kids want to be like this kid because he works so hard and he’s got so much passion. He loves it."