Good Sports: Clovis North's Austin Flores

A Central Valley wrestler has figured out what all student athletes are trying to learn: how to excel both academically and athletically.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Clovis North High School's first wrestling state champion isn't just dominant on the mat for the Broncos. Senior Austin Flores is just as successful scholastically.

Athletic director Coby Lindsey summed it up nicely last week: "He was able to do all this and have a GPA of a 4.67."

"It's definitely difficult," Flores said of the feat. "It comes with a lot of sleepless nights and going to bed at 2 a.m. to finish these assignments and study harder. It comes with less leisure time, but in the end, you definitely get some good results."

Flores signed his letter of intent to attend Stanford University, choosing the Cardinal over the likes of Harvard and Northwestern. It's not every day a strong student like Flores says no to Harvard, but Flores says it was a pretty easy decision.

"Come and visit home, eat Mom's cooking, and even things like the weather over here," Flores mentions. "In Stanford, it's constant around 70 degrees. It's so much nicer than the winter over at Harvard."

After going 43-2 as a senior on the wrestling mat and capturing the California 195-pound weight class, Flores is proof that excelling on the mat and in the classroom is not only possible, but should be strived for.

"People focus a lot on their sports, and that's good and they should," Flores said. "But they need to focus equally as hard or even harder on their academics, because in the end, academics are going to be more important in your life than your sport when it's all said and done."

"Through elementary and junior high, he learned those study skills that allowed him to compete in sports but also maintain a high academic performance," Clovis North wrestling coach Josh Adams said. "He budgets his time really well."

Flores is a finalist for Scholar-Athlete of the Year, as well as the prestigious B'Nai B'Rith Student-Athlete Award. In his own words, all it takes is self-discipline and just a little bit of support from family, friends and coaches.

"I've always been that support for him, making his lunch, making his breakfast," Austin's father, John, said with pride. "That also is still going to continue on. I think there's going to be times when I just drive over to Stanford and bring him a sandwich and just continue that taking care of my son."

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