Lucas Somera still gets inspiration from his late grandmother as he pursues a third straight state championship.
Every time Lucas Somera dons his headgear for practice or a match, he sees an everlasting image.
Inside is a picture of his grandmother, Christine Somera, taken with the Enumclaw High School wrestler on his 16th birthday. His biggest fan died last year at age 85.
The laminated photo in his headgear is a permanent fixture, just as his grandmother was at his matches since he was 6.
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“She was at every single dual meet and every match, cheering me on,” said Somera. “The picture is just one from a happy time when we were together.
“I always say a little prayer before I go out on the mat, and take a look at it. It’s a confidence-booster. It calms my nerves and gets me down to business.”
Somera no doubt believes that his grandmother is still watching as he attempts to win his third consecutive state title.
“I know she’s in heaven watching me, always, in whatever I do.”
Somera won the 2011 Class 3A state title at 135 pounds about two months before his grandmother died. Last spring, he won again at 138.
He’ll try this season to become Enumclaw’s first three-time state champion. The Hornets have had only two other two-time champs — Jason Gray (2008-09) and Sam Bauer (2008-09).
“Three-time champions don’t happen very often,” said Enumclaw coach Lee Reichert, in his 37th season of coaching high-school wrestling and 18th at Enumclaw. “Lucas knows just when to score and when he needs to score. You’re never safe with him. He’s always dangerous.
“He demands so much of himself and when he’s in that (wrestling room) no one is working harder. He’s a craftsman. He’s really gifted with his tools.”
Somera was down 3-0 before pinning Pasco’s Deondre Sparks in the title match last spring.
“He deals with intense situations very well,” Reichert said of Somera. “In terms of the total package, he’s it. I would say he’s one of the best kids I’ve ever put on the mat. He’s a special kid.”
Somera’s father, Andy, began coaching Lucas when he was 9. Andy Somera wrestled at Auburn High and Pacific Lutheran University.
“He always told me, ‘If you want me to coach you, just tell me when,’ ” Somera said of his father. “I told him when I was about 9 that I wanted him to coach me, and that’s when my success started. We’ve been through the ups and downs of wrestling together. He’s the one who pushed me to be successful.”
Somera says he likes to take advantage of opponents’ mistakes.
“I want to attack the whole time. … I want to just go out there and make them quit. I’m trying to be relentless and run them into the mat.”
His approach has led to a 105-22 career record, a sixth-place state finish as a freshman and championships as a sophomore and junior.
His biggest fan would be proud.