Rene Zamora admits he has a bit of a sweet tooth.
The Clark junior misses eating ice cream and cake. These days, he eats a lot of chicken, salads and broccoli. But it's been worth it.
Zamora has lost more than 50 pounds since the start of his sophomore wrestling season, when he came in at about 245 pounds and was wrestling at heavyweight. By the end of last year, he was wrestling at 220.
"I didn't think I could ever do this," he said. "At first, (losing weight) just kind of happened. Once I saw I was losing weight, I wanted to keep going."
He did offseason jogging and exercise in addition to the workouts for football and baseball, and opened his junior grappling campaign at 195.
"One day after practice he said 'coach, I think I can make 220,' and I told him to go for it. As the season progressed and his weight kept coming off, the coaches joked around about how tough he would be at 195," coach Matt Atherton said. "He made up his mind to do this and he did. Rene possesses an intense inner-drive to succeed, which is something a coach cannot teach."
The result has been good for Zamora on the mat. Atherton says his newfound svelte physique, combined with work he's done with assistant coach and mixed martial artist Craig Fruth, has made Zamora more aggressive.
"He's no longer afraid to take shots," Atherton said. "His low single leg is difficult to defend."
Zamora was able to hold his own against larger opponents last season. He finished with a 26-7 record and was a regional qualifier. But taking on the little guys at 195 has given him a newfound confidence. He said he's looking forward to showing what he can do at the Lake Central Harvest Classic and Lake County tournament.
"Losing the weight has made me quicker. It's even easier at 195," Zamora said. "It's harder to throw those big guys around."
Zamora may not be done cutting off the pounds, either. He says he could see working his way down to 170 by the end of this season.