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By Bill X. Barron, 10/26/17, 4:00PM MDT


Javier Sets His Own Bar for Greatness

Tapia & Wrestling:  A New Mexico Family Succession

By Bill X. Barron


Growing up in a family rich in wrestling tradition, Javier’s grandfather, father, brother, and uncle all competed on the mat before becoming successful coaches and officials.  Now 17, for fourteen years of his life, much of what Javier Tapia has known begins and ends with a 28-foot circle.  Presently competing for Pojoaque Valley High School and the Patriot Wrestling Club, Javier is a 2-time New Mexico state wrestling champion and has placed at many elite events across the country.                                                                                            

Not beyond learning from one of his few losses, Javier notes: “When in 8th grade as a 14-15 year old, I lost in the state finals by two points.  I thought I had earned a fall.  But an adult suggested looking at it as a teaching moment.  I learned that I need to work harder in order to succeed more.”  For younger wrestlers, Javier advises:  “Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.  Enjoy it while you can.  Once you reach high school, you can take it more seriously and begin to train harder.” 

Coached by his father Johnny, Uncle Jason, brother Jose, and grandfather Pompo, as well as “great friends” Alex Vosburgh and Trey Saxon, Javier has learned technique and “what I need to improve.” His mother “gives me healthy meals when I’m cutting weight and supports me when I need to work harder.”  Brother Jose has been his training partner for much of his career; he has pushed Javier to “work harder and test my limits.”  One-day Javier plans to follow the family tradition and become a coach so “I can give back what I learned to young kids and keep our sport growing,”

A leader on the team, Javier realizes that “my peers look up to me, so I have to represent my best and show them what it means to be a leader.  They look up to me; I win most of the time but not all the time.”  Outside of wrestling, Javier says that “wrestling has given me a strong mental game.  I know to not talk back to my teachers, to keep respect for them, and to get my work done and stay on task.”

RMN Events has been a crucial part of Javier’s development as a wrestler.  He says: “RMN brings in great competition from all over the country.  I love the great hardware and trophies as reward for all the hard work we put in.”

Over a lifetime of competition, Javier proclaims that “wrestling has changed my life.  It taught me how to be a proper person and gave me a positive attitude.  The sport showed me how to treat others with respect and talk to people.  Wrestling shaped my whole mindset, creating the person I am today.”

Javier concludes by stating: “Wrestling has built me to be a person of character, one of strong mind who never gives up, never quits.  I will keep trying, because eventually I am going to get there.  My sister has taught me that anything is possible, if you put your mind to it.  By working hard, you may influence those not even born yet.”


JAVIER TAPIA - POJOAQUE HIGH (NM) with Father-Coach Johnny, Mother, Sister, Brother Jose