Richland Northeast High School senior wrestler Javier Moreno puts his second-place state championship medal around Irene “Grandma Carmen” White inside the Anderson Civic Center in Anderson on Saturday.
Moreno lost 4-3 to Emerald High’s Conner Pirkle in the championship match of the 126-pound 3A division.
Moreno, who was featured earlier this year in The State newspaper, once was homeless and had to escape a chaotic family environment. Wrestling became a safe haven for him. Winning a state title was a goal.
“I told him he’s No. 1 in my book,” White said.
“He’s still our Cinderella story,” added “Cat” Crumlich, whose son Noah wrestles on the team. “Before wrestling, I don’t think he saw a future. It has given him a purpose.”