Teacher pushing up for LA

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Wrestling: Sanchez is among ’Toppers’ biggest supporters

By Bernadette Lauritzen

Los Alamos Middle School teacher Rita Sanchez took one for the team last week, participating with the Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestling team in their annual push-up-a-thon.
Hilltopper head coach Bob Geyer hopes to raise funds to cover expenses from cleaning supplies to warm ups and travel.
Geyer hopes to take district again this year and, with the help of Sanchez, and others in the program, helping pay the bills will be a piece of that.
Sanchez has contributed over $500 in the past two years doing what she says are, “old lady wall push-ups.”
Los Alamos Public Schools superintendent Gene Schmidt has sponsored Sanchez each year she’s taken part and this year is no different.
“The wrestlers are my surrogate children,” said Sanchez. “They fill the empty place in my heart. They treat me with respect and kindness and even concern.”
Sanchez lost her son Bryan almost four years ago , in a car accident. Bryan wrestled in seventh grade and was hooked, continuing through the remainder of his high school career.
“The team honored my son and my family by changing the name of our tournament to the Bryan Sánchez Memorial Wrestling Tournament,” said Sanchez. “I am tied to this team and these boys forever.”
Sanchez loves the team and they love her right back as their official team mom.
Los Alamos gets its 2012-13 season going Dec. 7 at the Rio Rancho Shootout. This season’s Bryan Sanchez Invitational is scheduled for Feb. 9.
Those wishing to help sponsor the wrestling team this year can contact Sanchez at 663-2423.