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Esprit Decor Student-Athlete of the Week: Josiah Irizarry

JOSIAH IRIZARRY TALLWOOD
Posted at 6:04 PM, Jan 06, 2023

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (WTKR)- Once Josiah Irizarry hit the wrestling mat, he was hooked, beginning a journey that could see him claim a state title before his high school career comes to an end.

"In middle school I kind of figured out all my friend were doing it and I joined," Irizarry said. "Since then I just loved it."

Now in his junior season, the Tallwood junior 106 pounder is among the area's best. He boasts a quiet leadership and focus when he steps onto the mat.

"I'll be very anxious to go out there," the wrestler said. "Once I go out there and start moving, everything's all soft, just flowing."

"When he steps on the mat, he goes out, typically has a lot of confidence stepping on the mat," Lions head coach Eddie Whiteman added. "He's not wide-eyed like some of the younger kids."

Josiah finished sixth in the state as a freshman and improved to third as a sophomore. 2023 sees the now-junior with his eyes on the ultimate prize. He's put himself in his position by balancing sports and school and putting in the extra work on and off the mat.

"He does a lot of the extrinsic things outside of us as well," Whiteman pointed out. "Some kids, they'll see just showing up when it's time for the season and that's fine, but if you really want to hone your sport you have to be more of a year-round wrestler kind of mentality."

This year Josiah hopes it all adds up to that winning formula and his first state championship, pairing the hard work with the lessons he's learned along the way.

"I wasn't taking it one match at the time," he noted. "I was just looking ahead, looking ahead, but this time I just need to take it one match at a time, take the little steps."

"He can be a state champ," Whiteman said. "He's got no ceiling, really. He's just got to keep working as hard as he is and keep focused and just manage and maintain his weight and just do the things that good wrestlers do."

Irizarry's goals don't stop with a state championship. He hopes to showcase his skills at the college level once his days at Tallwood are behind him.

If you have a nominee for Esprit Decor Student-Athlete of the Week, send an email to marc.davis@wtkr.com.