By Cely Mehr 4.0 Sports Writer

In the high school world, everyone wants to have that one friend who “got your back”, helpful, inspiring and someone that you can shamelessly introduce to your parents as your friend… As the saying goes “Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.”

Well, Michael Barajas II of Washington High School is that one friend. He is a multi talented student athlete who is a friend to everyone who knows him. He exhibits great rapport, a great quality of a Sports Therapist which he is planning to pursue in the near future. According to fellow “Huskies”, he is hard working, easy to talk to and a very disciplined student and team mate. He conveyed initially that ” I like to be a good leader and support everyone as much as I can.” His good works  didn’t go unnoticed… I had the pleasure to observe that in the eyes of his team mates, coaches, friends and his family during  two dual meets. The Newark Memorial Dual Meet last January 31 wherein the Huskies lost by  1 match and the Kennedy High School Dual Meet against Washington High School last February 8th at which point the Washington Huskies triumped over the Kennedy Titans with a team score of  45-15. 

Pup, as his Dad calls him spends 15 hours a week working out and it does manifest physically… His wrestling team mates call him “buff” and he does utilize that in the football and wrestling arenas. He was one of the captains of the WHS football team and rocked the #56 Huskies jersey as he played DE, OLB and MLB. Pup is currently one of the captains as well with the wrestling team. He currently holds a 23-10 over all record and secured the coveted 1st place title in the Second Annual Nick Buzzolich Classic with a 3-0 record. He captured 5th places on the Mat Classic and Lou Bronzan Invitational Wrestling Tournaments with a 3-2 record and the 8th place on Lou Bronzan Invitational Wrestling Tourney with a 4-2 record. Michael is  beyond doubt a “buff friend” and so much more!!! His mom Joann describes him as a very sweet son and a supportive brother to his 4 sisters: Athena, Lili, Janelle and Diana as well as  to his 2 brothers: Jacob and Nico. Joann concluded with a big, bright smile “No complaints… He is just a great son!!!”

The question in mind now is “What motivates him to be this buff friend despite of all the challenges of being a student athlete?” He simply stated ” It’s my love for the sport and the support of my family and friends.” Indeed, it’s a two way street…  Pup gets the support because he freely gives it… As his sister Diana proudly cheered on the last dual meet  and I quote “Yes, that’s my BROTHER!!! He is the BEST!!! You CAN do it!!! I’m so PROUD of you!!! and I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!”… Michael, your family and friends cheers, supports and loves you!!! Don’t ever change and you will be on your way to a bright future!!!