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Rye High School Celebrates Michael Atencio's State Championship
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Of the many things that our local high school excels in, celebrating each other’s victories is definitely a strong suit. Since it is such a tight-knit community, we all have unbelievable amounts of support for one another. A wonderful example of our support was shown through Michael Atencio, and his second state wrestling championship.

Adam Baumgartner, athletic director and assistant principal of Rye High School wanted to share Atencio’s stories with the entire high school. In order to do this, he held an assembly. When the lights turned off and the spotlight came on, Michael walked onto the gym floor in front of his fellow Rye High members.

Mikey, as he is called by his classmates, took a seat next to Baumgartner, and he was interviewed. To incorporate humor into his interview, Atencio stripped down into his wrestling singlet a few minutes into the assembly. The crowd chuckled as he complained about how hot it was getting under the spotlight.

Baumgartner told Atencio that he had something for him, and you could see the excitement in Atencio’s eyes. Baumgartner handed him a lunch bag, and Atencio opened it in front of the crowd, and hid his disappointment with laughter. The lunch bag was full of empty food containers. Baumgartner proceeded to tell the school why this was funny for Atencio. Throughout the wrestling season, Atencio ate as little as possible. The main goal is losing weight, and minimal eating as well as intense exercise are the way to do this. At times, Atencio could be found wandering the hallways carrying an empty lunchbox. He wanted to feel like he was eating, so it wasn’t so miserable.

Atencio and his family agree that the amount of support they got was astronomical. He says, “I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without the tremendous amount of support that I have from my parents and my sister and I don’t think that I would be good and where I am today without that support that I have.” Atencio gives his little sister the title of being his number one supporter. He thanks her for coming to every one of his tournaments and constantly being there for him.

Would you like to read the rest of this story? You can subscribe to the Greenhorn Valley View anywhere in Pueblo County for only $37.50/yr. Call (719) 676-3401 to get your subscription started.

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The Greenhorn Valley View is a weekly newspaper serving the communities of the Greenhorn Valley in Southern Colorado,
including Colorado City, Rye, San Isabel, Beulah and Hatchet Ranch.

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