Aysha General

Aysha General, flanked by boys wrestling coach Mark Dannels and girls coach Kassandra Castruita, finished second in the 120-pound weight class at the state tournament earlier this month. 

Aysha General, a Buena High School freshman, is the first female Colt wrestler to medal in the state wrestling championships. This is the third year the Arizona Interscholastic Association has held a state championship tournament for girls wrestling, with all high school girls teams competing in one division.

“There have always been girls on our wrestling team,” Buena varsity wrestling coach Mark Dannels said. “Girls are tough. Do not underestimate them as athletes.”

General finished her season with a record of 10-1 overall, 6-0 for the regular season and 4-1 for the state championships. There were 31 athletes competing at state in her 120-pound weight class and General brought home the second-place medal.

“Aysha’s passion to be a student athlete, along with her hard work during and in the off-season, helped her walk off the state mat with a medal,” Dannels said. “She is such a good kid. She is easy to coach and she always listens.”

General’s athletic pursuits began with Brazilian jiu-jitsu when she was 9 years old.

“My dad showed me a video of my Uncle Julius competing in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. I told him ‘that’s what I want to do’ and I have been ever since,” she said.

Soon after, General began competing in club wrestling. Now both sports, along with training at home and in CrossFit, are her main interests when she isn’t in school. She is also an honor roll student.

General has set a few long- and short-term goals for her high school wrestling years.

“I want to keep improving,” she said. “There is always something you can fix. I want to keep getting stronger, work more on technique and take state my sophomore year.”

Dedication and mental strength are two qualities General believes all athletes must possess.

“If you lose, you need to look at your match and figure out what you did wrong,” she said. “I always look back, whether I win or lose, to find ways to improve.”

General’s parents, Roland and Sharrina General, know the dedication their daughter has put into her sports and her education.

“She keeps a good balance between sports and school,” Roland said, “School is her priority but she loves the challenge of sports. She stays focused and trains hard; she stays humble and enjoys sharing the mat with her friends.”

Quick to praise his daughter on her dedication and commitment to her priorities, Roland also gives credit to those who have and are continually helping her.

“All of her coaches since she first started Brazilian jiu-jitsu, wrestling, and CrossFit have been amazing,” he said. “We want to thank them all — they are all awesome, amazing coaches for their time and dedication to their athletes.”

With her freshman school year soon to be completed, Aysha will be looking to her next three years of high school. She will keep training and working hard, determined to reach and exceed her educational and athletic goals.

“The future is bright for Aysha and not just on the wrestling mat,” Dannels said.

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