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Former Granger helps out at camp

By Kevin Eckleberry

kevin.eckleberry@lagrangenews.com

LAGRANGE – Wrestling means so much to Isaac Figueroa.

He has accomplished a great deal in his life, in sports, in business, and on the family front, and he believes the lessons he learned as a wrestler at LaGrange High have helped him immensely.

“A lot of guys who do well in wrestling, do well in life with the discipline and the hard work,” Figueroa said. “That’s one thing that definitely stuck with me, no short cuts, and hard work. You learn to embrace the grind with this sport. Life comes, and you’re accustomed to the daily grind.”

On Thursday, Figueroa was in his element, serving as an instructor for the final day of a wrestling camp hosted by LaGrange head coach Scooter Weathers.

For the past three years, Figueroa has set aside a few hours to be an instructor at the camp, and it’s something he looks forward to.

“I really enjoy it,” Figueroa said. “It’s an opportunity to give back. (Wrestling is) something that gave a lot to me. I feel like it definitely helped me.”

For three hours on Thursday morning, Figueroa walked around the gym at Unity Elementary School, offering pointers and showing the campers some of the moves that helped him succeed as a wrestler during his high-school days.

Figueroa has been a mixed martial arts fighter for the past few years, and he also incorporates elements of that sport into his lessons.

“It’s always good to have him here,” Weathers said. “He gives back, and he doesn’t charge us for this. It’s just him giving back to the program, and he donated money to help us buy shirts. That’s the kind of guy he was. He’s willing to help anybody.”

Figueroa has been a successful MMA fighter, both on the amateur and professional level.

At the moment, with family and work responsibilities, Figueroa has had to put his MMA career on the back-burner, although he is still training.

“It’s been busy with working and family,” Figueroa said. “I’m training, staying in shape, but for like a fight, it’s hard. I’m running my family business, and I’ve got two kids. There’s not much time for training six days a week for three months.”

As busy as he is, Figueroa was happy to make time for the wrestlers on Thursday.

“I was fortunate enough for someone to take the time and work with me. That made a huge difference,” Figueroa said. “I can give at least a day of my time and let them know, I was here just like you.”