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All-County Girls Wrestling Team: Capistrano Valley’s Neila Fritts is the O.C. wrestler of the year

04/16/2022, 2:30pm PDT
By Steve Fryer

https://www.ocregister.com/2022/04/16/all-county-girls-wrestling-team-capistrano-valleys-neila-fritts-is-the-o-c-wrestler-of-the-year/

 

All-County Girls Wrestling Team: Capistrano Valley’s Neila Fritts is the O.C. wrestler of the year

Fritts was the CIF State champion at 235 pounds

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Neila Fritts, from Capo Valley High School, is the Orange County Register’s girls wrestler of the year. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Neila Fritts, from Capo Valley High School, is the Orange County Register’s girls wrestler of the year. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

By  | sfryer@scng.com | Orange County Register

PUBLISHED: April 16, 2022 at 10:15 a.m. | UPDATED: April 16, 2022 at 11:03 a.m.

ALL-COUNTY GIRLS WRESTLING TEAM

GIRLS WRESTLER OF THE YEAR

Neila Fritts, Capistrano Valley, Senior 

Neila Fritts had a way to get what she wanted if someone was in her way.

The way was a move called “The Freight Train Double.”

“One of my favorite things to do,” she said, “is kind of run right at the other girl and it almost always works.”

It worked enough enough to make Fritts, a senior at Capistrano Valley, the Register’s Orange County girls wrestler of the year for the 2021-22 season.

Neila Fritts, from Capo Valley High School, is the Orange County Register’s girls wrestler of the year. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Fritts freight-trained her way to victory in just about everything she tried to do. She was CIF State champion at 235 pounds and also was CIF Southern Section Masters champion.

Fritts finished the season with a 38-1 record. Thirty-one of her wins were by pin.

Her one loss was to El Cajon Valley’s Valeria Rocha, who Fritts beat later in the season in the CIF State semifinals.

She ranks that win as the highlight of her season.

“I’m never going to forget my semifinals match at state,” Fritts said, “beating a wrestler I lost to earlier in the season.”

Seeded third in her division at the state meet, Fritts did not give up a point over all five rounds. She defeated top-seeded Annika Miles of Elk Grove in the final.

Fritts decided late in her freshman year to give wrestling a try. She soon found a home in the demanding sport.

“I made a lot of friends in the wrestling community,” Fritts said. “And not just on my team but all over the area. There’s a mutual respect and understanding.”

Capistrano Valley coach Brian Shackleford admired Fritts’ mental toughness.

“She just doesn’t quit and she’s never afraid,” Shackleford said. “Sometimes the bigger kids in wrestling are afraid to make a shoot move and get underneath kids.”

And as for that Freight Train move …

“She puts her head right into the other kid’s abdomen and runs over them like a train,” Shackleford said.

The move took Fritts to a state championship and recognition as the county’s best in girls wrestling.

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