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Arias selected as Warriors' male senior student-athlete for 2021-22

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

The San Diego High School Sports Association annually honors a male athlete and a female athlete from each CIF San Diego Section member as a senior student-athlete, and Marco Arias Jr. was chosen as Fallbrook High School’s Male Senior Student-Athlete for 2021-22 school.

“Quite a leader at Fallbrook High School,” said Fallbrook High School Athletic Director Patrick Walker.

The award is given to seniors based on athletic, leadership, and academic criteria. “It was just a really big honor to be chosen out of all the student-athletes at Fallbrook,” Arias said. “It just feels like all the time and dedication I’ve put in paid off.”

Arias was a slot receiver on the Warriors’ freshman football team as a ninth-grader and was one of the pole vaulters on Fallbrook’s track and field team as a sophomore and junior, but his primary sport was wrestling.

“I’m absolutely thrilled that he won this, and I can’t think of anyone who’s more deserving,” Fallbrook wrestling coach Cristian Vera said of Arias’ Senior Student-Athlete award.

“He completely set the tone for every single student,” Vera said. “He’s always been a team leader.”

Vera noted that the award is for someone who is a scholar as well as an athlete. “In my opinion I think he excelled at both of those,” Vera said. “He got an ‘A’ in every single class.”

A grade point average of 4.5493, including 4.4961 for his first seven high school semesters, made Arias the Fallbrook High School valedictorian for the Class of 2022. Arias will major in mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which does not have wrestling.

Arias’ father, Marco Arias Sr., is a 1987 Fallbrook High School graduate as well as Fallbrook High School’s cross country and track and field head coach. Marco Arias Jr. was born in Fallbrook Hospital on June 29, 2004. He attended Fallbrook Street School for kindergarten, La Paloma Elementary School from first grade through sixth grade, and Potter Junior High School for seventh and eighth grades. He competed in the Relentless Wrestling club in fourth and fifth grades but took a break from the sport and resumed wrestling once he was at Fallbrook High School.

A wrestler may compete in the weight class immediately above what he scales but not in a lower weight class than his actual weight range. When Arias was a freshman that was irrelevant because the lowest weight class is 106 pounds.

The freshmen on Fallbrook’s 2018-19 wrestling team also included Alex Brown and Ethan Ellefsen, so Brown was the varsity 106-pound wrestler and Ellefsen was on the mat for 113-pound varsity matches while Arias was the junior varsity 106-pound grappler. The Vista Frosh-Soph Dual Meet has a 98-pound class for freshmen only, and Arias shared third in that class in 2018 (Brown and Ellefsen both wrestled in that tournament’s 106-pound class).

Arias made the Warriors’ wrestling varsity as a sophomore and competed in the 120-pound class. Fallbrook concluded dual meet competition with a win over Valley Center which gave the Warriors the 2019-20 Valley League championship and Fallbrook’s first-ever wrestling league championship. “That secured us the league title. That was very exciting for all of us,” Arias said.

Arias considers defeating Valley Center for the Warriors’ league championship to be his favorite Fallbrook High School sports memory. His favorite overall school memory is the Senior Sunrise at the beginning of his senior year, and he also considers playing music in the back of his friends’ truck to be among his favorite overall high school memories. His favorite class was AP Calculus BC. “It was a really rewarding class,” he said.

The Valley League wrestling coaches named Arias to the all-league second team for 2019-20. Coronavirus restrictions delayed the start of the 2020-21 wrestling season, participation quantity restrictions eliminated tournaments, and two positive coronavirus tests caused two 14-day shutdowns of the Fallbrook program.

The Carter Classic tournament opened Fallbrook’s 2021-22 wrestling season, and Arias shared fifth in the 138-pound bracket. He pinned all four of his December 2021 dual meet opponents. The weight class allowance adds two pounds as of Jan. 1, and Arias also pinned his first 140-pound opponent of 2022. Wrestlers are limited to five matches in a day, which cost Arias the opportunity to participate in the third-place match at the Jim Londos Memorial tournament although he had a 4-1 record in that Jan. 15 meet. In the CIF Division II meet Feb. 12, Arias placed eighth among 140-pound mat men.

“It was always just a brotherhood feel to the whole team itself,” Arias said of the wrestling program.


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