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SMHS student who is a member of the Youth National Boxing Team back button

A high school senior has returned from the official Olympic Training Center and is ready to hit the books.

Carlos Balderas, who is one of a dozen members of the Youth National Boxing Team, attends Santa Maria High School. His goal is to make the 2016 USA Olympic Boxing Team and travel to Rio de Janeiro.

"I am going to focus on school because education is so important,'' said Balderas, 17. "I was not as serious about my schoolwork as I should have been in the past, but boxing has taught me to be prepared and ready and I plan to apply that to my studies.''

Balderas, 5 foot 8 and 123 pounds, was chosen for the team in January 2014 after winning the Youth World Championship in Reno, NV. His lifetime record is 117 wins and about six losses.

During the summer, Balderas and other nationally recognized boxers spent time fighting internationally. They visited and fought in Russia, Bulgaria, Ecuador and other locations, something this hometown young man found exciting and interesting, especially because he got to see how people in other countries live.

"Honestly, I never thought I would be able to see these places,'' Balderas said. "They are way more crowded than Santa Maria. The food, houses and cars are all different.''

At the Olympic facility in Colorado, Balderas said it was all about two things: Routine and hard work.

"Eat, rest, run, spar, bag work and more ...then repeat,'' Balderas said. "It's like we were on a mission because the competition was at such a high level.''

The young athlete won his first fight at eight years old in Santa Maria, showing boxing was in the family bloodline. Both elders fought in their younger days. With the help of his father, Zenon, uncle Emilano and coach David, he's practicing and training daily at the family's home gym and will be a force to be reckoned with - inside and outside the ring.

"School, family and a great life,'' Balderas said.

NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY: The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District is committed to ensuring equal, fair, and meaningful access to employment and education services. The SMJUHSD does not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis and/or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics of age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, ethnic group identifications, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital, family or parental status, medical condition, military or veteran status, nationality, national origin, immigration status, political affiliation, pregnancy and related conditions, race, religion, retaliation, sex (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by California state and federal nondiscrimination laws respectively. Not all bases of discrimination will apply to both education services and employment. If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, immediately contact the District’s Discrimination, Equity and Title IX Compliance Officer Mr. Kevin R. Platt at 2560 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93455, (805) 922-4573 or You may request a copy of SMJUHSD’s Uniform Complaint Procedures, Non-Discrimination Policies, Sexual Harassment Policies or click here.