Stupendous sophomore succeeds in sports, school

Isabella Thomas, Sports Editor

Whether it is gliding across the ice or wrestling on the mat, this enthusiastic sophomore can be found striving to be top of the line.


Sophomore Mateo Lopez has been dedicating time for sports throughout his life. Lopez’s passion for fitness and sports led him to become a threat to his opponents in both hockey and wrestling. 


Mateo first got involved with hockey when his father’s boss would give tickets to see hockey teams play.  Since then, he has grown into a hockey player himself. 


Lopez has accumulated nearly six years as a competitive hockey player. He now plays the position of right wing, and his zeal earned himself a spot on the Palm Beach Hawks 16U team. Recently, he and his team showcased their talents at the State Championship. With help from his insightful coach, Coach Dave, the team is now the reigning champ of SAHOF State Hockey Tournament. 


Beyond being a Palm Beach Hawk, Lopez represents Central on the Wrestling Team. His time as a wrestler has been underway since his freshman year. He got involved by the influence of his father, who could be seen on the mat when he was in high school. 


While hockey is a team sport, wrestling is one on one. This presented challenges for Lopez as there have been times where he found himself overworking himself and putting additional stress on his body. 


“When I practiced and pushed myself, I used to hit a wall, a mental block,” said Lopez. “This feeling of a mental block was actually a chest pain. Now that I look back at it, I know it was because I wasn’t breathing well when working out, but at that time I didn’t know so I got scared.”


Instead of listening to his body and taking it easy when he felt tired, Lopez was determined to not disappoint his teammates and coaches. Luckily, he was able to catch it before it went too far. 


“It caused me to go backwards rather than advancing and succeeding.  When I started to see myself not getting better because of myself having fear of this pain, I realized I needed to get through this fear and overcome it.”


While he regrets this situation, he also finds the light in it.


“This was a bad thing and also good. It was a bad thing because it made me prioritize how others saw me, rather than actually care about myself and health.  In wrestling, I would go through certain painful movements to win and prove others,” stated Lopez. “It was a good thing, though, because it motivated me to get better at the sport of wrestling and practice it at a new pace, to become the best.”


In addition to hockey and wrestling, Lopez also finds himself relaxing and enjoying his hobbies. His hobbies include going to the gym, going fishing, and going hunting. In addition to these, Lopez also likes to listen to music and play video games, just like the majority of his peers. 


Beyond hobbies, Mateo has an impressive academic record. He has had a passion for knowledge since a young age. Unlike most children, his favored subject was math and that still stands today. 


“Since I was young, I’ve always loved dealing with numbers and solving problems,” explained Lopez. “It’s like a big puzzle or riddle to me, and when I figured it out, it was like an accomplishment to me. I felt gratitude after, felt successful. I felt good about myself.”


His pursuit to expand his knowledge, especially in math, has given Lopez bragging rights as the only sophomore in the whole school to be in AP Calculus- typically a junior or senior class.


He credits his favorite teacher as Mrs. Salemme, who teaches Mateo AP Calculus. She has enjoyed her time teaching a stellar student like Mateo.


“He is serious about his education, his character, and his sports,” said Salemme. “He is intelligent, conscientious, and hard-working.”


We wish our Bronco sophomore and both his teams safe and successful seasons. Keep up the good work and continue to show your Central PRIDE as you represent on the mat and on the ice.