ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – With construction underway at Valley High School, teams have been unable to use the gymnasium since last year. This left the VHS Wrestling Team without a place to practice, but decorated former wrestler and now head coach at VHS, Bart Lujan changed that because of his relationship with a certain MMA Academy.
“Well, Coach Lujan he has these kids and he is helping them out every day, and the kids are getting better. I think people need to appreciate what those high school coaches do, they don’t make much the way of money and they put a lot of time and effort into it,” said Head Striking Coach at Jackson Wink Academy, Mike Winkeljohn. “It’s great to see the kids doing well.”
Coach Lujan has been working with Jackson Wink for six years, training fighters and even helping out Diego Sanchez in his return, after training in California. He is thankful for Coach Winkeljohn opening up his doors for his team, and as for the wrestlers themselves, they are loving it as well.
“I get to see people like Holly Holm and Jon Jones everyday. They will say, what’s up to me,” said VHS 106 LBS Wrestler Abran Lujan.
Coach Lujan is thankful Albuquerque Public Schools is renovating the facilities at the high school, but it definitely hasn’t been easy for his team. It’s awesome that they do get to train at Jackson Wink, but wrestlers are having to drive there and scheduling at the MMA Academy gives the Vikings limited time.
“I only get an 1 hour and 15 minutes of practice, instead of a traditional two and a half,” said Coach Lujan. He still cannot thank the crew at Jackson Wink enough for opening their doors to his team though, and he has high hopes for this season. He has a few wrestlers with state titles being achievable this year, but no matter what, this team will get better.
“Valley wrestling is all about being gentleman. Working hard, putting all your effort down, and whatever life brings them they are going to be able to handle it, because we handled it here,” said Coach Lujan.