TUCSON, Arizona — Over 100 teams from throughout the southwest are competing in the 55th annual Flowing Wells Wrestling Invitational, held this year at the Tucson Arena.
The name Hernandez is synonymous with Flowing Wells wrestling. Several family members of Flowing Wells boys head coach Robert Hernandez have competed for the Caballeros. However, this year's Invitational is set to be an emotional one.
For fifteen years, Hernandez's mother, Maria-Carolyna Hernandez, ran the hospitality suite at the event. However, two weeks ago, she passed away after she had a heart attack and contacted Covid-19 at the hospital.
"We miss her," said Hernandez. "We miss her presence running around."
Just two days later, he also lost his uncle and his mother's brother, Emilio Ruiz, to Covid-19.
"It's been really hard for our family."
Now, Hernandez's son, Robert Hernandez III, is carrying on the Flowing Wells tradition by competing in the 120 pound weight class.
"He's doing a really good job. He's a real dedicated wrestler."
On this morning, Hernandez pinned his opponent to move on in the Invitational. Afterwards, father and son shared an embrace.
"We said our goodbyes but my son went out and wrestled for her."