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Resilience and Victory: Remarkable Journeys to the UIL 5A Wrestling Championships

There was more than a fair share of 3-time state champions among the 5A boys champions at the UIL Championships held at the Berry Center in Cypress.

But only one of the four to 5A wrestlers to win three state champions had a story like the one of Lucas Lovejoy’s Sam Reynolds.

The senior won his third title at 285 pounds but this one had to be a little bit more sweeter.

Undoubtedly there was a time when wrestling and his other sport — football — took a back seat in life.

Last April, the Lovejoy standout learned he had acute myeloid leukemia. By October, he was back playing football and on Feb. 17, he won another state title for the Leopards. He was one of four wrestlers in 5A to win three titles in their high school careers. 

“Some people know I had cancer over the summer,” he said. “Having to battle back to play football land and be able to come here means a lot, knowing I outworked everyone to get here.”

The all-state offensive lineman will play football at Southwestern Oklahoma State next year and went out on a high mark for his time on the mat.

Reynolds picked up a 3-1 win over Cameron Lewis of Rosenberg Terry, 3-1, in the championship match. He got two near-fall points in the third period to account for the difference in the outcome.

His three previous matches ended in pins and he finished 26-0 on the season.

The No. 1-ranked Reynolds beat No. 2-ranked Pablo Jaimes Mendoza of Lender Glenn by a pin in 4:45 in the semifinals.

This was his first undefeated title, going 48-2 last year and 25-2 as a sophomore and all three wins came in the heavyweight division. 

“I know what I have done, I have failed a lot,” Reynolds said. “My faith in Jesus, our savior, that gives me a lot of confidence he is there with me and he has a plan for me.”

5A 106

In his first trip to the state meet, Cedar Park’s Nathan Reilly came home as a state champion.

The freshman was ranked No. 3 going into state. He knocked off No. 1-ranked Aodhan Jimenez of Killeen Ellison by a pin in the second period.

Riley got two takedowns against Jimenez, the latter that led to the pin.

Reilly will carry a 21-match winning streak into next year’s finals and both of his losses this year came at the Texas Outlaw Classic in Allen in early January…

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Written by Cody Thorn

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