November 16, 2010
For Immediate Release
Story by Justin Penland
Kendallville Publishing Company
Fort Wayne, IN – Prairie Heights senior Travis Barroquillo is not the talking type. No matter, though, the Panther senior says everything he needs to with his athleticism and performance on the wrestling mat.
Friday afternoon on the campus of Indiana Tech, Barroquillo signed with the Warriors to continue his wrestling career. He is the first recruit for the newly-formed Tech roster and coach Mike Ester.
“It’s pretty sweet being the first person to sign here,” Barroquillo said.
Barroquillo credited Ester being the coach and the small classroom size as major reasons for signing with the NAIA school based in Fort Wayne. After attending a couple club practices directed by the former Trine University assistant coach, Barroquillo said Ester is big on cardiovascular endurance.
That won’t be a problem. Before Barroquillo reports to Indiana Tech, he has one more season under veteran coach Doug Smoker, whom Barroquillo said will keep him in shape. “His practices are not easy. With him, I will definitely have the cardio issue solved,” Barroquillo said.
During the 2009-10 campaign, Barroquillo finished seventh at 125 pounds in his second state finals appearance in three years. On the way to Conseco Fieldhouse, he racked up a 46-6 mark with 31 pins. He also took home Northeast Corner Conference, sectional and regional titles.
Outside of IHSAA competition, Barroquillo was crowned champion in the 130-pound class at the Indiana State Wrestling Association’s Folkstyle State Finals and was runner-up in the ISWA State Finals at 135 in the Greco-Roman division. He also has a fifth-place finish at the USA Wrestling Folkstyle Championships at 130.
For his senior year, Barroquillo said he wants to have a great record and participate in his third state finals.
He said chances are high that he will wrestle in either the 133- or 141-pound class in college.
“Athletically, he’s awesome. Everybody knows that,” Ester said. “He’s a hard worker and the kind of guy who will do anything for his teammates. If you ask him to do something, he’s going to come up to the plate and bat for you. If we can put 30 Travis Barroquillos in the room and mold them, those are the guys you want to build a program around.”
Ester spent the previous four years as an assistant at Trine and has 15 years of overall coaching experience. He will lead Indiana Tech wrestling into competition as an NAIA program in the 2011-12 school year with a full schedule including NCAA, National Junior College Athletics Association and NAIA opponents.
Concerning his tenure at Trine, Ester said it was a tough decision to make, but the right one for his family. “It’s an opportunity that will not come around twice,” he said. “Leaving Trine was hard in itself. Leaving the kids breaks your heart. It was really tough.”
With a 10-man roster to fill before the first match, Ester said he is not done looking at the Heights program.
“They have a really tough team right now. They have some kids there that will continue to succeed,” he said. “We are definitely not done recruiting there, that’s for sure.”
As for the first Panther to sign, Barroquillo set major goals for his tenure at Tech. He aspires to be an NAIA All-American and national champion. Off the mat, he plans on studying sports management.
“I just can’t wait,” he said. “It’s a whole new level of competition. Every match is going to be tough.”
For more information on Indiana Tech athletics please call the Athletic Office at 260-422-5561 ext. 2262 or visit our website at http://www.indianatech.edu/athletics