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Jun 05, 2013

New Breed wrestling head coach Mario Chagolla (middle) stands with Camp Verde Mayor-elect Charlie German (right) and the Paul’s (left) after the wrestling coach was presented with a $5,000 check for his Chagolla Foundation. The Paul’s nominated Chagolla for a Safeco Community Hero Award. VVN/Travis Guy

I am deeply honored to receive this award, but wish to acknowledge that this programs' success is bigger than any one individual. It is made up of over 100 volunteer Arizona coaches and parents, who unselfishly donate towards the overall success of Weekend Wars. They have been the driving force and inspiration behind many hours of playing mentor, disciplinarian and sympathetic supporter, donating their time and energy to help other in need. They are determined, highly motivated and action-oriented volunteers.

As we commemorate and celebrate with humble reverence, the rich history of this program and all who epitomize and give true meaning to the words; dedication, sacrifice and commitment. I respectfully wish to give recognition to coach Dennis Sterrett, coach Bob Weir, coach Hess, coach John McReynolds, coach Rogers and the over 100 volunteer Arizona coaches and parents. There are the guys who long before me, built the foundation needed for Camp Verde wrestling to succeed at Weekend Wars. It is on their shoulders we stand here today. I salute them.

This past weekend marked a momentous occasion in the history of Weekend Wars Wrestling. Many years in the making, our wrestling room has already provided support to 15,000 kids from all over Arizona, New Mexico, Washington, Colorado, Nevada, Utah and California. It amazes me how popular and enormous our event has become. It's absolutely gratifying when you see hundreds of parents and coaches get together bi-monthly and spend quality time with their kids.

Our vision in this organization is to help kids succeed and become leaders that will make a difference in their society. We have partnered up with 100 different clubs and schools in an effort to help youth at risk today. Our efforts have supported grandparents, who now in the twilight of their years, find themselves raising children again, single parents who are raising kids who need a male role model figure in their life and have kept busy and off the streets.

Our dream is to provide kids with opportunities in the activity of wrestling while teaching them life success skills. Success isn't defined by the trophies our kids earn, it's the focus, discipline and perseverance the sport fosters in the youth and the life lessons it teaches them. Our philosophy is built on principles and standards that embrace integrity, respect, honesty, character, intensity, focus, discipline, goal setting, determination, perseverance, sacrifice, how to overcome challenges and sportsmanship. These are characteristics they need to be successful on the mat, in school and in the workplace. Theses are the traits that will help prepare them for whatever life will send their way.

So again, I say, for any one man to try and take credit for this remarkable feat would be a fool. The cornerstone and foundation of this program is the Lord Jesus Christ, and it is he who I give all the glory.

Thank you,

Coach Chagolla

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