Alex Lopez (middle), is a wrestler and a senior at Kentlake High School. He was the winner of the Reporter’s Athlete of the Year. Coach Jeremy Williams (right) and coach Michael Andrews (left) said Lopez’s attitude and committment earned him the award.

Alex Lopez (middle), is a wrestler and a senior at Kentlake High School. He was the winner of the Reporter’s Athlete of the Year. Coach Jeremy Williams (right) and coach Michael Andrews (left) said Lopez’s attitude and committment earned him the award.

Kentlake wrestler doesn’t like to brag, but he won Athlete of the Year

Alex Lopez, wrestler and senior at Kentlake High School, was recognized this week as the Covington-Maple Valley Reporter’s 2018-19 Male Athlete of the Year.

He thinks it’s cool to be the first male athlete of the year for the Reporter, but doesn’t say much else on the matter. He doesn’t like to brag.

Coaches agree he’s a humble kid, but that it’s clear his teammates see his wrestling skills. Some even get emotional talking about Lopez.

Lopez has been wrestling since he was 6 years old. He attended Sawyer Woods Elementary School and Cedar Heights. The transition from middle school to Kentlake left him with some challenges as a wrestler his freshman year.

“It was coming in and trying to wrestle varsity opponents in a tough league, where a lot of teams are competing at a high level,” Wrestling Coach Jeremy Williams said.

Lopez then spent the next two years watching and investing time learning about wrestling. He placed eight in state his sophomore year.

This year his biggest change was being able to bounce-back after a lost match. Both Lopez and Williams said he changed his mental attitude and brought the same spirit to the mat even after facing adversity in the beginning of the season.

Lopez said when he lost at a tournament his junior year, it went downhill from there.

“But this year I learned how to lose and cope with it better,” Lopez said.

This attitude shift also allowed him to face up against some of the best wrestlers in the state. Williams also said since Lopez didn’t do football this year, he had more time for pre-season conditioning and training. He also did a high-intensity wrestling camp at North Idaho College, where he won the takedown tournament.

He will also be attending North Idaho College next year for wrestling.

“(I’m proud of) knowing I did good enough to wrestle in college,” Lopez said.

His coach said he’s most proud of Lopez excelling in his weight class, even with some state champs in his level, and stepping up to the challenge.

Lopez said his advice to other athletes is to get your homework done on time, and not have to miss practice.

“He took care of business so he was able to be there on the mat. He’s exactly what we want from a student athlete,” Williams said. “And now he gets to go on and keep doing this for awhile.”

More in Sports

Kentwood celebrates its state-clinching win over Glacier Peak. REPORTER PHOTO
Kentwood summits Glacier Peak, reaches 4A state playoffs

Church, ground game in second half power Conquerors to 41-31 victory

Tahoma volleyball ranks No. 1 in the state

Submitted by Erinn Cassidy for the Kent-Covington Reporter. Tahoma Volley Ball won… Continue reading

Photos courtesy of Kurt Audett.
Bears storm the field at homecoming

The Tahoma Bears gave quite a performance during the team’s homecoming game… Continue reading

Fireworks bring extra oomph to homecoming

Fall brings some of the community’s favorite events, including high school homecoming.… Continue reading

Reporter Athlete of the Week: Taylor Marks

Each week The Renton Reporter highlights exceptional student athletes

Photo courtesy of Leah Grant 
                                Left to right: Jan Stover, Myrna Krieg, Terry Dalry and Janice Train. Not pictured: Diane Clavin.
Local ladies win golf tournament

Twelve golfers participated in the two-day Lake Wilderness Ladies Golf Club Captain’s… Continue reading

Photo by Kayse Angel 
                                Kaiea Higa (right), a freshman fast pitch player for the Tahoma High School Bears, won the first ever Female Athlete of the Year award from the Covington-Maple Valley Reporter. She received a special plaque from the Reporter’s editor Danielle Chastaine (left).
Tahoma Bear is the first Female Athlete of the Year

Just starting her career as a freshman, Kaiea Higa wins community’s vote

Alex Lopez (middle), is a wrestler and a senior at Kentlake High School. He was the winner of the Reporter’s Athlete of the Year. Coach Jeremy Williams (right) and coach Michael Andrews (left) said Lopez’s attitude and committment earned him the award.
Kentlake wrestler doesn’t like to brag, but he won Athlete of the Year

Alex Lopez, wrestler and senior at Kentlake High School, was recognized this… Continue reading

Tahoma track student Katie Welsh leaps into the sand during the long jump. File photo by Kayse Angel
Tahoma girls track win state third year in a row

am gives “amazing performance” at championship meet

Photo courtesy of Rachel Ciampi.
                                Kent Lake High School’s Justice Efato does the long jump and wins the Washington State Track and Field Championship on Saturday, May 25.
Kentlake athlete takes long jump championship

Kent Lake High School’s Justice Efato does the long jump and wins… Continue reading

Reporter Athlete of the Week: Catherine Dennis

Tahoma High School’s Catherine Dennis, girls tennis, was selected as the Covington-Maple… Continue reading

Reporter Athlete of the Week: Gage Reynoldson

Tahoma High School’s Gage Reynoldson, boys soccer, was selected as the Covington-Maple… Continue reading