“I played everything in middle school — football, wrestling, track, cross country, soccer and even played tennis,” Aguilar stated. “Even my first two years at Bradley I played football, wrestled and ran track but then I really felt like I just wanted to concentrate on wrestling and win a state championship.”
After explaining his desire to Bear football coach Damon Floyd (himself a standout football player and state champion wrestler at BCHS), Aguilar turned his full attention to the wrestling mat and the direction of legendary coach Steve Logsdon.
The result was a 37-3 record and a third place finish after getting upset in the state tournament semifinals.
“In my opinion, he was he best wrestler in the state his junior season,” Coach Logsdon proclaimed. “When he got upset that motivated him to come back even stronger his senior season.”
This past winter Aguilar reached his dream, capping off a 24-1 season with a sweep of the state tournament field to capture the 152-pound crown. His only loss of the season came on a controversial call in a South Carolina tournament early in the season.
“That call could have went either way and the guy went on to win the Outstanding Wrestler trophy for that tournament,” Aguilar explained. “It (the loss) did me some good as my cockiness went away and I started working even harder to do what I knew I needed to do.”
Moving to Cleveland from San Diego when he and twin brother Vince, another standout Bear wrestler and football player, were in the second grade, Aguilar got his local athletic start at Ocoee Middle School.
“Unlike most of our wrestlers, Chris didn’t come up through the Pride Wrestling program, so he got started a little late but he had a desire to get better and better and made the most of everyday,” Logdson remarked. “He went to several camps with me over the years.”
“It was a challenge coming to a program like Bradley but I wanted to be the best, so I wanted to wrestle for the best,” Aguilar explained. “In practice I always tried to wrestle someone bigger or especially tried to wrestle one of the coaches to get better. When we’d run, I always tried to win. I wanted to improve everyday.”
The drive to succeed will continue at Rend Lake College this fall, where he will be a teammate of Walker Valley’s Isaiah Simpson.
“My roommate finished second at the Junior Nationals,” Aguilar related. “The coach (Kevin Tate) is bringing several good wrestlers in so we should have a good team.”
The Warrior program has had four National Junior College Athletic Association All-Americans and 10 national qualifiers, including five this past season, in the four years Tate has been the head coach.
“(UTC) Coach (Heath) Eslinger and Coach Tate are friends so I hope to go up there (south-central Illinois) for a couple of years and then hopefully come back down here for the final two years and wrestle,” Aguilar explained. “This (going to Illinois) is a new opportunity for me to be able to continue to do what I love while getting my education.”
Hoping to earn a degree in the medical field, Aguilar turned down an opportunity to go to San Francisco to wrestle for a NCAA Division III progam.
“Chris can easily go up there and dominate and then come back and wrestle on the Division I level,” Coach Logsdon assessed of his former team captain.