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Denver family finds purpose in wrestling

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Posted at 8:57 AM, Feb 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-19 10:57:58-05

DENVER — The wrestling team at Denver North High School is often referred to as "a family."

That rings especially true for Chris and Cameron Vallejos-Meredith.

“Yea I thank him a lot, I thank him every day," Cameron, a freshman wrestler at North said about his older brother. "I appreciate him for a lot because without him I wouldn’t be where I’m at today.”

The bond between these two brothers was forged in the crucible of competition, and at this point it simply cannot be broken.

“We all grew up being pretty competitive and everything, it’s fun for us," Chris, a senior at North, said. "I think that [wrestling] brought us together in a way and made us more hardworking.”

“To be honest with you he thought me everything I know today," Cameron said. "He pushes me hard.”

However, Cameron and Chris are merely half of their wrestling family.

“My brothers, they inspired me. I saw them wrestling so I decided to join,” 8-year-old Isaiah Meredith said.

“I appreciate them the full way possible because what they’ve done for me," 11-year-old Armani Meredith said. "The things they tell me before a match inspires me to go out there and do my best and try harder every time.”

These four brothers are dedicating themselves to hard work and improving the lives of their family.

“They help me keep going honestly," Chris said. "They look up to me you know, so I play a big part in their lives.”

“For my little brothers I want to be a good role model for them and show them what hard work looks like on and off the mat," Cameron said.

Both Chris and Cameron qualified for the CHSAA state wrestling tournament in Cass 4A. Specifically, Cameron was the only wrestler in the 106 pound weight class to enter the tournament with only one loss on the season at 40-1. Unfortunately, he lost to Broomfield freshman August Soto in the second round.

Chris lost his first match in his final ride at the state championships, but he fought his way back through the consolation bracket to finish on the official podium at sixth overall in the 113 poundweight class.

The youngsters aren't far behind too - Armani and Isaiah are both competing in junior wrestling state tournaments this season.

“These tournaments don’t just teach you to go out there and have fun, they teach you to have discipline,” Armani said.

What these brothers have learned on the mat goes beyond pins and points - life without wrestling is not one Chris wants to contemplate.

“Honestly I don’t know [what I'd be doing if I wasn't wrestling], it wouldn’t be too good," Chris said. "This sport, you need a lot of determination, grit, and work ethic. Without that, I don’t know where I would be in life because you really do need it.”

At the end of the day, life - like wrestling - does keep score. Chris, Cameron, Armani and Isaiah are working tirelessly to make sure they're winners on that mat too.

“What I want to do is win," Armani said. "I want to win for my family, I want to make them proud, I want to feel like I succeeded in this sport.”

With four brothers on the mat, this Denver family finds purpose in wrestling

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