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AZTEC – Aztec's Cody Candelaria is persistent when going on the attack, which convinced Otero Junior College’s wrestling program he can contribute immediately.

“I take (opponents) down time after time. Then in the middle of the match, they lose determination and they break,” said Candelaria, who signed with the Rattlers today via athletic scholarship. “If I feel that they’re broken, then I’m going to keep taking shots until they can’t really defend (themselves).”

Candelaria, who won two individual state titles in 2017 and 2019, said his takedowns will keep serving him well while on the mat.

Going forward, however, Candelaria also said he wants to be more active throwing his foes to the sides.

“It’ll open up my shot. I’ll be able to drop my shot easier,” Candelaria said. “I want to be able to dominate in every part of the match. I know that I can do things over there that those (opposing) kids aren’t ready for.”

After a year or two at Otero, which is located in La Junta, Colorado, Candelaria said he looks to transfer to a big-name NCAA Division I wrestling program such as Rutgers, Nebraska, Iowa State or Penn State.