Athlete of the Week: Tecco takes talent to college level

sjwrestle-teccoSome were surprised when St. James High senior Mackenzie Tecco became the first female wrestler in school history to sign a college scholarship earlier this month, but not Tecco. The accomplishment has been her goal since the first time she stepped onto the mat.

“I remember back when I first started and I won my first match I was so excited,” said Tecco, who was voted the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week after signing with King University in Bristol, TN. “I told myself, ‘I’m going to wrestle in college one day. I knew this was what I wanted to do.”

Tecco spent the past decade working toward that goal. She first got interested in the mostly male sport when older brother Kyle started wrestling at St. James. She tagged along at practices and matches until she got the golden opportunity with an unlikely wrestling partner.

“I used to go watch my brother practice and I was like, ‘Wow, that looks like a lot of fun’,” Tecco recalled. “They had one female on the team and she was an exchange student named Karena. She didn’t have anyone to practice with so she and I started working together and it really helped me.”

Soon Tecco was ready to wrestle with the big boys, and she more than held her own throughout her high school and club career. She won three national titles as a member of the Grand Strand Wrestling Club, where she worked on wrestling year-round, and helped the Sharks until a shoulder injury sidelined her for her senior season.

“I’ve always loved physical sports. I’ve played hockey and football and lacrosse, but wrestling was always my favorite,” Tecco said. “I like the factor that it’s just you out there on the mat so everything is on you, and it’s really all about how hard you push yourself. You get out if it how much you put in.”

Tecco eventually earned the respect of her male competitors and helped make females more accepted in the sport by proving herself on the mat. But she has had to deal with some less-than-welcoming opponents over the years who sought to embarrass her on the mat. Instead, the opposite happened.

“It was crazy at first but it’s not as bad now because people know me,” Tecco remembered. “I had guys who would try to pull my singlet off of me just to be mean, but it got better when I started beating people. If I’ve done anything I hope it’s that people treat girls better these days.”

Tecco now gets the chance to break more unchartered territory as a college wrestler. She recently visited the campus and was received exactly the way she wants to be – like another one of the guys. If not, they might find out what other past opponents have learned the hard way: Tecco is a wrestler.

Photo by Prep Stars Media

Comments

comments

Runners pound pavement for Turkey Trot road races

Runners pound pavement for Turkey Trot road racesSixteen-year-old Rory Legg-Bell of Hillsborough, NC, was the first to [more]

Chants slam St. Andrews; Shaw tallies 1,000th point

Chants slam St. Andrews; Shaw tallies 1,000th pointDemario Beck scored 12 points and had 15 rebounds in [more]

Girls Hoops: CF rips net, Braves in Sand & Hoops

Girls Hoops: CF rips net, Braves in Sand & HoopsThe girls high school basketball season is only beginning, yet [more]

Saints step up to capture Bulldog Shootout crown

Saints step up to capture Bulldog Shootout crownThe Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach boys basketball team not [more]

Hoops: CF, Socastee, SJ win tournament openers

Hoops: CF, Socastee, SJ win tournament openersThe Carolina Forest High girls basketball team needed a little [more]

Coastal upsets Clemson, marches on to Sweet 16

Coastal upsets Clemson, marches on to Sweet 16Martin Melchor scored two goals and had an assist while [more]

Beach United teams close fall season in Wilmington

Beach United teams close fall season in WilmingtonThe Beach United Football Club saw eight teams close out [more]

CAC swimmers dominate podium at regional meet

CAC swimmers dominate podium at regional meetPalmetto Aquatics (PALM) hosted the 2017 Thanksgiving Invite Meet on [more]

Coastal repeats as SBC champ, awaits NCAA foe

Coastal repeats as SBC champ, awaits NCAA foeThe Coastal Carolina volleyball team defeated #2 Texas State in [more]

Local hoops season tips off with two girls tourneys

Local hoops season tips off with two girls tourneysWinter might still be a month away, but the high [more]

Gamecocks net fifth place in Puerto Rico Tip-Off

Gamecocks net fifth place in Puerto Rico Tip-OffSouth Carolina men's basketball coach Frank Martin claimed his 100th [more]

Cuthbertson's career-high 31 points lead Chants' win

Cuthbertson's career-high 31 points lead Chants' winZac Cuthbertson torched the nets for 31 points in leading [more]

Chants handle Vandals, score first Sun Belt win

Chants handle Vandals, score first Sun Belt winIdaho scored on the opening possession of the game but [more]

Saints open season with wins, reach tourney final

Saints open season with wins, reach tourney finalThe Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach boys basketball team opened [more]

CCU men fall to Vermont; Lady Chants blast UNCW

CCU men fall to Vermont; Lady Chants blast UNCWZac Cuthbertson scored a game-high 23 points and had another [more]

Lady Chants spike Wolves, reach Sun Belt title game

Lady Chants spike Wolves, reach Sun Belt title gameThe Coastal Carolina volleyball team is making its second straight [more]

Chiefs stumble at Stags, suffer first loss of season

Chiefs stumble at Stags, suffer first loss of season North Myrtle Beach's record-setting season came to an end Friday [more]

Chants land in Bahamas with hot hand for hoops

Chants land in Bahamas with hot hand for hoopsFour players reached double digits for Coastal Carolina in the [more]

Gamecocks bounce back, blow out UTEP in Conway

Gamecocks bounce back, blow out UTEP in ConwaySouth Carolina's debut in the Puerto Rico Classic at the [more]

Beach Ball Classic lineup has big names, top teams

Beach Ball Classic lineup has big names, top teamsThe 2017 Beach Ball Classic announced its schedule for the [more]

Coastal shuts out Mercer, advances to face Clemson

Coastal shuts out Mercer, advances to face ClemsonFrantzdy Pierrot teamed up with Martin Melchor to give the [more]

Chants go west in quest for first Sun Belt victory

Chants go west in quest for first Sun Belt victoryThe Coastal Carolina football team (1-9, 0-6 Sun Belt) will [more]

Redbirds top Gamecocks in opener of PR Tip-Off

Redbirds top Gamecocks in opener of PR Tip-OffThe South Carolina men's basketball team has home court of [more]

CCU men, women suffer narrow six-point losses

CCU men, women suffer narrow six-point lossesJaylen Shaw scored 17 points, but it was not enough [more]

CCU nets honors, enters SBC tourney as top seed

CCU nets honors, enters SBC tourney as top seedThe Sun Belt Conference announced its final weekly volleyball awards [more]

Runners pound pavement for Turkey Trot road races

Runners pound pavement for Turkey Trot road racesSixteen-year-old Rory Legg-Bell of Hillsborough, NC, was the first to [more]

Chants slam St. Andrews; Shaw tallies 1,000th point

Chants slam St. Andrews; Shaw tallies 1,000th pointDemario Beck scored 12 points and had 15 rebounds in [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach