This week we are spotlighting Jefferson’s Coach Oscar Fonseca and his wrestling team as they prepare for the Colorado State Championships this weekend. Go Saints!
Who is going to the State Championships from Jefferson?
Jimmy Ramirez III 120lb
Kyle Cisneros 132lb
Nick Gallegos 138lb
Brandon Onofre 152lb
Oscar Lopez 220lb
How do Kyle’s chances look for repeating as State Champion?
I will let you all know after Saturday night. Kyle broke the Colorado state record for most career wins and is currently at 173 and counting. I’m glad that it’s out of the way and he can turn his focus on another state title. I like all of our wrestlers’ chances. We like to wrestle one match at a time and look to score points. If we keep that mentality, matches will go our way a lot of the time. We all have goals that we have written down and although the goals can be accomplished in the next 3 days, we cannot forget that we are not there yet and have to wrestle our next match.
How long have you been coaching at Jefferson?
This is my tenth year at Jefferson. Coach James Vogel, who is another JHS graduate, has been there with me every step of the way.
What led you into coaching wrestling?
I wrestled at Jefferson and then at the University of Northern Colorado. I was an assistant at Ralston Valley helping a friend of mine and teaching at Jefferson when the head coach left to another school a few months before the season began. Former Jefferson Athletic Director George White asked me to be the head coach, I was reluctant at first, but eventually I gave in and here I am now not wanting to go anywhere else. When James and I took over, the team had six coaches in the previous six years and one year the program shut down due to lack of participation. Jefferson wrestling was down and I was not sure how we were going to infuse discipline, hard work, and dedication into a team that was not used to having success. The first couple of years were frustrating but it made us better coaches. We realized that we know how to lose, we lost plenty, and if wrestlers were not going to get on board then we did not need them to help us lose, we can do that on our own. We focused more on the kids discipline, hard work, and dedication in the wrestling room and more importantly in the classroom. Once the kids realized that we could care less about winning/losing but more about how they treated each other and how they handle school. Once they took care of the important things, then wrestling became easier since they did not have to worry about outside distractions when they come to practice/competitions. We have had kids that nobody would of thought they would become as good as they became on the mat and I attribute that to them taking care of the important things that I just talked about.
What is your day job with the school district and what does that involve?
I work for Jefferson County Public Schools under Title I as a Community and Family Connections Liaison. I work with families experiencing homelessness. We help with school supplies, credit recovery, transportation assistance, Medicaid/CHP/Food Assistance, clothing, school fees, and help family’s navigate through our school system. We have a large district with a lot of moving parts and it can be confusing to advocate for students if you do not who to go to, especially when they are going through hard times. I can help guide parents/guardians/students in the right direction to help their student’s needs.
What impresses you most about your Jefferson wrestlers?
On the wrestling side I love watching our opponents will/spirit be broken due to our tenacity and great conditioning. Win or lose our kids make you feel that you don’t know how much more you can take. It’s great to see our competition get so tired that they start questioning and doubting themselves when they wrestle us.
Outside the mat, I love that our kids know how hard they train and they are tough individuals but they are humble and disciplined enough to respect others and be good leaders for everyone in the school. Our former wrestlers are now beginning to graduate college, in the military, and are having success in their adulthood. All 4 of our Seniors this year will be moving on to college next year, two will be wrestling at School of Mines and one at Colorado Mesa.