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Tuscarora High School wrestler Andrew Chavarria has been named the U.S. Army Impact Player of the Month for December.
Chavarria, a junior who competes in the 170-pound division, was nominated for the award by Trey Coates, the head coach for the Tuscarora (Frederick County) wrestling team.
"He not only works hard and sets an example for the rest of my team during practice, but does it in a humble manner," Coates wrote in his nomination email. "Andrew never speaks about himself or complains about anything."
If there's one thing Chavarria has proved it's that he's a hard worker, starting in the classroom where he has a 3.92 GPA. Chavarria has also done well in classes that are advanced for his grade. He's currently taking advanced placement English language and composition, a class that's intended for seniors.
Chavarria's teacher in that class, Jonathan Araujo, said his diligence and determination make him stand out, as does his affable demeanor.
"His high marks on his assignments are to be commended, but equally so, his genuine interest in everything and how it all connects," Araujo said. "Andrew's brain is clearly engaged in his work, and he is willing to assist others to develop the interest and excitement he has for whatever project he's currently completing. His genuine interest in others also helps to make him an exceptional student. He greets me and his classmates with a warm welcome and smile every day and actively participates with the coursework."
Chavarria has done such a good job academically that Coates asked him to help tutor a teammate that was in danger of not being eligible to wrestle. After his first few tutoring sessions proved useful, Chavarria began helping more teammates.
"Coach kept pulling me for tutoring during my free period," Chavarria said. "I'm now helping three teammates in algebra, science and Spanish. I want to see our team succeed. Wrestling is an individual sport to an extent, but in a lot of ways it isn't."
That camaraderie is one of the main reasons Chavarria loves being a member of the Titans' wrestling program.
"Tuscarora is really diverse and our team definitely reflects that," Chavarria said. "Our team is made up of people with different perspectives and points of view. It's very cool to see everyone come together and bond over wrestling."
On the mat, Chavarria is doing his part, as Tuscarora aims to qualify for the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association dual meet regionals for the first time in program history. Individually, Chavarria has seen his skills improve and hopes to qualify for the state tournament later this season.
Add in the leadership he provides for his teammates and it's clear to see his positive impact on the Tuscarora wrestling team.
"We're definitely an improving team," Chavarria said. "We've won meets this year that we haven't won before, and, individually, I've started to beat kids I couldn't previously. I'm feeling way more comfortable and confident in my matches. I like to lead by example. After we get dressed we start running on the mat and I always try to be one of the first ones to do that. During drills I always go my hardest."
Though Chavarria has a lot to focus on in the classroom and on the wrestling mat, he's just as busy outside of school.
Chavarria works part-time at Manna Taqueria, a restaurant in Frederick that is owned by his parents. While there, he does whatever the restaurant needs help with, ranging from being a cashier to helping in the kitchen.
Chavarria said he gets his work ethic from his parents and that he's seen firsthand how important it is to try your best.
"It might sound corny, but once I saw how hard my folks worked to bring our business that wasn't doing well initially to becoming successful, a light just went off in my head," Chavarria said. "Having a work ethic applies to all facets of life -- business, school, wrestling, and so much more."
Though he doesn't ask for any rewards for all his hard work, that doesn't mean it's gone unnoticed.
"I'm not sure where he finds the time to do everything he does while also maintaining a good GPA and a successful wrestling season," Coates wrote. "I would like nothing more than to have the kid who asks for nothing and gives everything to gain a little recognition."