Globe’s Gonzales is school’s first three-time state wrestling champion

Aaron J. Tohtsoni/Arizona Silver Belt

Globe High School senior Gabe Gonzales completed a feat no one else has done while in a Tiger uniform – win three consecutive state wrestling titles.

“It doesn’t feel real,” said Gonzales. “I thought one title was going to be good but three is much better. There was more pressure this year and I just worked as hard as I could.”

Gonzales has been wrestling since the sixth grade but grew up around the sport, traveling and watching his older brother, and eventually fell in love with it.

This past season Gonzales finished with a 60-1 record, culminating in a 10-5 win over Mogollon’s Joseph Rodriguez in the Division IV 126-lb. state championship match. Despite feeling “hunted,” Gonzales breezed through his first three matches without giving up any points.

“It’s been a good four years,” said Gonzales. “I’ve definitely gotten better throughout the years, that’s for sure. I improved by not being so lazy and just doing what you’ve got to do. Just try to be one percent better every day.”

He finished with a career record of 167-10. His first two titles came in the 113-lb. and 120-lb. weight classes.

Although the high school season has wrapped, Gonzales is still hitting the mats with USA Wrestling. He is mulling college wrestling offers that include schools from Arizona and nearby states.

Wrestling with USA Wrestling gives Gonzales the added edge with tough opponents and has allowed him to see the different styles of wrestling from wrestlers from different states.

In addition to four years of wrestling, Gonzales played with the Tigers football team this fall and was a major factor in bringing the Copper Kettle back to GHS. He earned 2nd Team All-Region honors.

The camaraderie of Globe High School is something that he has enjoyed and will miss after graduation. School activities from pep assemblies, student section at games and Homecoming Week are a few of his favorite events from high school.

“We like to support each other,” said Gonzales. “All of my friends play sports, and we try to go to each other’s games and support each other as much as we can.”

While the Globe Tiger chapter is winding down, Gonzales’ story is not over yet.