Sunnyside’s two-time state champion Rene Fragoso signs with ASU

Rene Fragoso. (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson)

Sunnyside wrestler Rene Fragoso helped lead the Blue Devils to another state championship in February and the two-time individual state champion is one step closer to competing at the next level after he signed on to compete for Arizona State Monday afternoon with family, friends, coaches and teammates in attendance.

Fragoso went 49-1 to capture the 190-pound division this winter and he went 12-0 to bring home his first high school title in the 182-pound class in 2021. He was an important part of a machine that produced 35 team championships and 184 individual championships dating back to 1969 and more is expected next winter with a loaded program on both the boy’s and girl’s side returning including Audrey Jimenez, who will be competing for her third state championship as a prelude to a run at the Olympics.

Fragoso’s teammate Jaime Rivera Jr. signed with the U.S. Military Academy Prepatory School at West Point on Friday and each signing event in the auditorium at Sunnyside High School is like a reunion of champions but, in reality, it seems more like a family reunion built on tradition and pride. Every person in that auditorium, from age 3 to 80, is part of the fabric that produces champions and more champions.

Seniors to be Michael Avelar and James Armstrong will have the spotlight on them next year and they will be two more names on the growing list of college athletes produced by current head coach Anthony Leon.

Former Ironwood Ridge standouts Tyler Rokop and Jose Beltran are on the current Sun Devil roster and ASU signed Kaleb Larkin in December. Larkin is the son of former Sunnyside great Erik Larkin. Four-time state Diego Chavez of Santa Cruz also signed with the Sun Devils.


Named one of “Arizona’s Heart & Sol” by KOLD and Casino del Sol, Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and a 2019 AZ Education News recognition. He was a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling and his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is a Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019, became a member of the Sunnyside Los Mezquites Cross Country Hall of Fame in 2021 and he was a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee. He earned a Distinguished Service Award from Amphitheater and he was recognized by City Councilman Richard Fimbres. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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