Hear Me Roar
August 2023 Issue
Photos courtesy of Vivian Urriola and Reverence Wrestling Club
Vivian Urriola is an athlete. Her sport: Wrestling. She is a member of the Reverence Wrestling Club in Bluffton and a rising freshman at May River High School. Vivian was one of five Beaufort County female youth wrestlers who competed at the Southeast Regionals Tournament hosted by USA Wrestling in Cherokee, NC. This competition was a qualifying tournament for the 2023 US Marine Corps Junior and 16U Nationals, a national Freestyle and Greco tournament held every year in Fargo, ND. Vivian competed in the 16U, 117 pound class and is the only female at Reverence Wrestling Club who competed in both Freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling. She won first place in Freestyle and came in second place in Greco. These wins were her ticket to Fargo.
Tell us what it means to you to have earned a spot to compete at Nationals in Fargo:
It means I am growing so much as an athlete. Not many wrestlers are able to attend the Fargo competition. It takes years and years of training, but in only two years, I have caught up with others who have been doing the sport for years.
Why did you choose wrestling? What do you love about it?
I chose wrestling because I have a Brazilian Ju-jitsu background. My coach highly suggested wrestling for me because they go hand in hand. I love that I started wrestling because nothing is ever the same, the people are amazing, and it is the best way for me to stay in shape.
What do you find most challenging about the sport?
The most challenging part about wrestling is how mentally demanding it is. There is a lot of stress. I get anxiety when weighing in if I’m an ounce or two over, and before my matches, I used to throw up because I would be so nervous. When wrestling, it’s just you versus whoever’s on the mat with no one else to provide support, and that’s the main reason it can be so nerve-racking.
What would you say to other girls who may want to wrestle but think it’s a sport for boys or may be just too scared to try it?
I would tell them that wrestling is as much of a girls’ sport as it is for boys.
You are really making a name for yourself in this sport. What do you have to do--practices, disciplines, exercise, nutrition--to be the best you can be?
I train six days a week and eat clean foods for most of my meals.
Your mother told us you try to do your best in everything you do, what drives you to excel?
I just want to make myself better for my future encounters not only in wrestling but also in everything else.
We know wrestling can probably get intense at times, what do you do in your downtime?
When I’m not wrestling, I am usually hanging out with my friends or sleeping.
What brings a smile to your face every time—no fail?
I love going out for dinner.
What is your favorite subject in school?
Science is my favorite subject because there is never really enough studying and observing to do,
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
One thing I would change is how small women’s wrestling is. Even though it is currently the fastest growing sport, wrestling is still lacking in female numbers.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received from your mom, dad or coach?
The best advice that I receive from all of them is to believe in myself and wrestle confidently.
If you won $500 what would you do with it?
I would use the money to pay the entry fee for the Super 32 Challenge annual wrestling tournament.
Who is your hero?
My parents are my heroes! I notice how they work so hard and do so many things for me and my wrestling and just everything in general. My parents are always striving in whatever they do, so they give me something to look up to.
What are currently roaring about?
I am one of the few building women’s wrestling in the state of South Carolina.
REVERENCE WRESTLING CLUB
Reverence Wrestling Club (RWC) was founded in 2020 by Blake and Emily Maffei with a purpose-driven approach toward growing Beaufort County’s overall youth and high school wrestling culture and fostering widespread wrestling superiority from athletes in the Lowcountry. The wrestling club operates year-round, promoting and practicing Folkstyle, Freestyle, and Greco-Roman styles with an emphasis on athletics, acrobatics, and academics. For more information, visit www.reverencewrestling.com.