State champion wrestler honored with Outstanding Citizen Achievement Award by Centralia City Council


After winning the Mat Classic XXXV Washington state high school wrestling championship in the 2A 120-pound division earlier this year, Centralia High School wrestler Antonio Campos was honored with an Outstanding Citizen Achievement Award by the Centralia City Council during the council’s Tuesday, April 9, meeting.

“You exemplify the best of Centralia,” Centralia Mayor Kelly Smith Johnston said. “Centralians, as we all know, have grit, determination and humility.”

She lauded Campos not only for his wrestling state championship win, but for being one of the students who had to deal with missing out on classes due to COVID-19 shutdowns.

“Yet you still had the discipline throughout all of that time … to do the work necessary to become a state champion,” Smith Johnston said.

Centralia City Councilor Sarah Althauser, a former teacher, praised Campos for his work ethic and dedication. With her husband being a former high school wrestler, she knew first-hand the challenges Campos had to deal with. 

“I watched him (go) through Centralia High School be very disciplined making sure he made weight,” Althauser added.

Councilor Mark Westley, also a former teacher, asked Campos what it was like the moment he realized he had won back in February.

Campos explained his semifinal match opponent was actually the one that really stressed him out, as he had lost to opponents from the same team during his sophomore and junior years competing in the Mat Classic at the Tacoma Dome.

“When I (beat) him in the semifinals match, that moment when I won, I knew that I had the state championship in the bag, because I knew the finals match wasn’t really gonna be anything to worry about,” Campos said. “... It was more excitement and relief, and knowing I went out with a bang.”

Campos has committed to wrestling at the collegiate level at Clackamas College.