Mustangs powerlifter signs with Midland University


Nixon-Smiley High School hosted a signing day for their senior powerlifters Monday, April 29.

Senior Jesus Espino received a $25,000 scholarship for Midland University in Fremont, Neb., to attend school and join their powerlifting team.

Espino was excited to continue his powerlifting career at the college level.

“I'm so glad for God helping me get here. I struggled a lot with losing my dad my freshman year. That really just made me focus on this and really gave me something to put all my energy into. So it's just amazing that I can get to do this,” Espino said.

Mustangs head powerlifting coach Eliseo Cano was proud of Espino continuing his powerlifting career at the next level.

“No one in this school works harder than him. Since he was a sophomore when we got here, he was working out in the morning at 6 a.m. He worked out during lunch, during athletics and then after school, and you know, he also works a job to support his family after he lost his dad and it's just the feeling that it overwhelms me,” Cano said.

“We built this program and we're one of the best programs in South Texas and in all of Texas. So, look forward to great things coming ahead,” Cano added.

Mustangs former powerlifting coach Paul Kirby attended the signing ceremony and was proud to see Espino headed to college.

“Jesus is one of those kids you have to sweep out of the weight room, and he's there waiting for you when you open up in the morning. He's usually the first to be there and the last to leave. For Jesus, he's been more than just a student athlete for me. He's been like a son to me. It's just one of those kids that just you can't help but help,” Kirby said.

“He's always there for you and he expects that in return. So he just one of those guys that I know it's gonna be successful at the collegiate level, because he's gonna do the work in the classroom. He's going to be on time and he's going to bust his butt. I guarantee I,.” Kirby added.

Cano and Kirby had the same message for Espino:

“Never give up. Keep working. And great things will come,” Kirby said.

“My message to him is to keep doing great and never give up and remember that failure is not an option,” Cano said.