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By Jesse Utz 

Meet an LR Hall of Fame and Gem in the Coulee inductee: Victor Camarena

Jess Shut Up


Recently Victor “The Mongoose” Camarena was named Regional Junior High Wrestling Coach of the Year. Big accomplishments for any man, but even greater for Victor. Victor is a former Raider himself and a former state-caliber wrestler. To be honest, he is probably still at that caliber of wrestling and has been coaching future wrestling studs and studettes since his return to the area.

But it does not stop there. He is in the hallways and the classrooms, too, helping with science, tutoring with math, encouraging students to get their grades up and finding ways to assist them. He is also involved with after-school programs and has helped with Young Life in the community. There are countless other things this young man has done to give back to his community.

During football season, you will see him at games. During wrestling, he is on the mat. He was a runner in high school, so he always has advice for the cross country runners and tracksters.

“He was an all-around athlete if we ever had one,” said one former coach. “He is an inspiration and a sharp dresser, too,” said a current student, who followed with, “He is funny but he has a way of getting his point across at the same time.”

He is an inspiration to his peers, as well. His appearance is always professional and courteous; he is usually willing to do anything you ask of him. Obviously with this award and the one he received when he coached Nespelem wrestling, his passion is on the mat. But he knows what it is like to struggle. Without telling his life story, he knows the struggle of growing up in a difficult situation. He understands what other kids are going through at home, and that makes him a better mentor, better teacher and a better friend to those who are around him.

Striving to show others you can be better, better than even what you think in your own mind: that is what makes Victor a Gem in the Coulee and an Inductee to the Raider Hall of Fame. I’m proud to call Victor a friend, peer and fellow impromptu comedian; he is a shining light among men. Raider Nation can be proud of this young man and so can Coulee Country.

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