Murphy Resident Takes Wrestling by the (Long) Horns
Murphy resident, Luci Schement started wrestling when she was a freshman at McMillen High School. She said, “My older sister, Sonya was a wrestler and she said she thought I would be good at wrestling. My mom pointed out that since I was 5’2”, I was probably not going to go very far in basketball, which was one of the sports I was interested in at the time. I tried wrestling and loved it.”
Luci went on to achieve great things at Plano East Senior High (PESH). In 2014, she set the World Powerlifting Congress World Record for deadlifting 320 lbs. Her weight class was 123 lbs. In 2015, she was the Texas High School 6A Wrestling Champion in the 119 lbs. weight class. She also earned the title of being a High School All American.
After graduating from PESH, Luci attended University of Texas – Austin. She took a two year break from wrestling due to an injury; however, Luci went back to wrestling her junior year. She said, “For the two years I have been on the team, I have been the only girl.” At UT, wrestling is not an NCAA sport, but is a club team. She said there have been multiple benefits to continuing on with the sport from her high school years, “I made a lot of friends. We travelled to different cities for matches. I received a lot of support from my teammates.” She said the rules are pretty much the same between high school and college wrestling. One major difference is that the three periods of a match are three minutes, two minutes and two minutes versus two minutes for each period. She also said there are fewer competitors in her weight class.
Leading up to the National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA) National Championship, which was held Mar. 13 – 19 in Allen, TX, Luci practiced two hours a day for four days a week. Because she was the only female in her group and the closest person to her weight class (116 lbs.) was a 141 lb. male, she contacted a local high school to see if she could train with them. Throughout the year she divided her training between working with her U.T. wrestling team and working with the coach and students at the high school.
During the final match at the national championship, Luci’s competitor was a girl who was known to be a defensive wrestler. Luci said, “The match was slow to start. I was trying to be smart and didn’t want to give her an opportunity to score. In the last period, I gave up a takedown which allowed her to score. I looked at the scoreboard, I was winning and there were only six seconds remaining. I knew I had won.” Luci became the 2019 National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA) National Champion in the 116 lbs. weight class. (She is also a two time Collegiate All-American.)
When the official raised Luci’s hand as the solidifying gesture of triumph, Luci said she showed school pride by gesturing ‘hook ‘em horns’. She ran to her coaches immediately, skipping the customary protocol of shaking the hand of the opponent’s coach. She quickly returned and remedied the breach of conduct. Since the championship was held in Allen, she had a lot of fans in the stands.
She shared her secret to wrestling success, “Do the hard work. Put in the time to learn the moves and have cardio. In wrestling, everything is on you. You versus the other person, that’s it. You must put in the work to be better than the opponent.” She adds, “Confidence is a huge thing. Last year, I took second place. The difference this year is that my teammates encouraged me and said, ‘You’ll take nationals’. I felt confident, and if I hadn’t, the match could have ended differently.” The discipline she has learned through wrestling, she applies to other areas of her life, such as academics. She said, “Just like I know I have to practice for a tournament, I know I must study for tests. I have to put in the time to succeed. I know what it takes to achieve my goals.”
Advice she gives to girls interested in wrestling is, “Stick with it regardless of what anyone says about it. I heard remarks that weren’t intended to be negative, but were. Wrestling is not a girly sport. Anyone can wrestle if they are willing to put in the time. Ignore the haters.”
Luci voiced appreciation to the following people: Her mom, Amy Schement, because, “She is my super advocate.” Her sister, Sonya Schement, because she encouraged her to become a wrestler and, “She hypes me up before matches.” Plano East coach, Eric Semifero, “He is a big reason why I am where I am today, in wrestling and in life. He is a great role model.” UT Coaches, Bobby Barney and Andy Josuweit, “They volunteer their time because they love wrestling.” UT teammates, Enrique Mungia and Gilmar Ortega (Plano Senior alumni) because they have been so supportive.
While watching Luci compete at NCWA National Championship, Luci’s mother, Amy said, “On the one hand, I was very nervous going into the meet because of her recent injury. I did not want to see her get re-injured or worse. On the other hand, I was very excited for her to not only be a possible national champion, but if she won, she’d be the first wrestling national champion (male or female)in UT’s history!”
Luci will graduate in the spring with a degree in aerospace engineering. She will attend grad school to pursue a master's degree in aerospace engineering with a focus in astrodynamics. Her career goal is to work for an aerospace company such as NASA.
Luci attended Boggess Elementary, Murphy Middle School, McMillen High School and graduated from Plano East in 2015.