New State, Sport Shaping Senior’s Direction

3 years ago Eric Sorenson 0

Each time Tristan Prado looks down at the inside of his right forearm, he sees his past and remembers who he is and where he came from. The tattoo of the New Mexico state flag logo etched into his skin tells many stories.

The Zia, in part, symbolizes the Circle of Life which embodies the mental fortitude of the San Tan Foothills High School senior who has seen a transformation since his large, hard-working family re-located from Albuquerque to the southeast Valley the day before his freshman year.

Not only did Prado find himself, he discovered a new sport in cheerleading.

“I first got involved in it when my girlfriend first got me to try out,” Prado said to “Cheering has brought me together in many aspects of my life.”

Prado’s younger life was far from perfect living “on the wrong side of the Rio Grande” in Albuquerque and often having to help care for his younger siblings while his parents employed long hours to keep up with the bills and put food on the table.

At STFHS his days are still long with very little time to relax. Besides being a student and cheering, he also holds a part-time job at Subway to help support not only himself but his family, as well.

The well-liked Prado is the ultimate success story in maturity and over-coming life’s shortcomings.

“I’ve seen his attitude change tremendously,” STFHS head varsity cheer coach Brooke Calamari explained to “When he first started [cheering], he messed around a lot. He wasn’t always serous but I’ve seen him grow a passion for the sport.”

Prado is banking on that passion carrying over to the college level where he’s hoping to cheer at Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher for two years before hopefully continuing on to Grand Canyon University or another four-year university.

He’s planning to study education and one day become a high school teacher.

His life lessons learned and determination certainly deserve to be shared with others who may be in a similar position Prado once was.

Sometimes the Circle of Life has a way of figuring itself out.

Tristan Prado is the perfect example.