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OVERCOMING THE ODDS Anthony Montavlo battled abuse and poverty on his way to the Oklahoma State wrestling team.

wednesday, December 4, 2019

c owb oy wrestlin g


Montalvo faced poverty and abuse in path to OSU Raq uel Do m in gu ez

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Growing up wasn’t always easy for Anthony Montalvo. After being physically and mentally abused, Montalvo found a way to overcome adversity and be the first person in his family to attend college. Along attending Oklahoma State, he was one of top wrestling recruits in the country. Montalvo’s childhood was different from others. He grew up in a twobed, one-bath apartment with 10 people in California. His parents immigrated from Mexico with nothing but a high school diploma and were forced to live in a povertystricken area. Montalvo’s main goal while growing up was to end the cycle of jail, drugs and crime, which was the norm for males in his family. The only thing to fall back he had was with wrestling, a sport that he loves. Montalvo watched his parents split when he was eight years old. At some moments, his oldest brother provided for his mother and siblings. It brought the most trying of times. Eventually, he watched his brother

fall into the cycle of the rest of his family members had as he was arrested and sent to Corcoran Penitentiary for murder. “I remember the day he was arrested, it was a Saturday and our family was having a barbeque,” Montalvo said. “It felt like everything was too perfect of a day.” “The neighborhood was quiet, very unusually calm,” Montalvo said. “When S.W.A.T knocked our door down, surrounding the house asking my brother to come out with his hands up.” It became one of the most surreal moments of Montalvo’s life. His mother was already badly hooked on drugs and this situation only made it worse as his oldest brother was greatly loved by their mother. It was hard for Montalvo to find a mother figure while his own was continuously out of his life after he turned eight. Shortly after, the times he would see his mother was down to one to maximum of four times a year. If that wasn’t enough to deal with as a child, Briana, one of his sisters, got pregnant at 15 years old. Once Anthony’s father Leo found out, Briana was kicked


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Oklahoma State’s Anthony Montavlo wrestles Minnesota’s Owen Webster during the Oklahoma State vs. Minnesota wrestling dual Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019 in Gallagher Iba Arena in Stillwater.

out of the house and his other sister left as well. “We didn’t realize that we were leaving him at one of the most important times of his life,” Montalvo’s sister Leslie said. Montalvo found that wrestling and school could be the only way he can change the route of his life when he was 11. Montalvo found that wrestling was a sport that you couldn’t win with money, and he had some of its most important characteristics: toughness and heart. Leo realized the potential in his son and dedicated his life to

moving his family out of their home. Montalvo witnessed true hard work and pressure as Leo worked seven days a week, every week for a couple years. That was when his life changed. Montalvo’s family moved to a different town where the opportunity of being successful was significantly greater. “I saw a change in the way he lived his life,” Leo said. “Everything he did had purpose and made it easier to go to work everyday of the week.” Montalvo was relatively unknown in the state of California


for wrestling when he entered high school. That all changed a couple months into the season when he defeated some of the best wrestlers in the state and ranked as high as No. 4 as a freshman. He never looked back from there. As the years past ranking went from state to national, he even captured a national championship along the way. His high school career ended with Montalvo ranked No. 3 in the country at his weight and one of the top recruits in the country. He left his high school and California

with one of the most dominant careers. Through all this success, Montalvo’s mother sadly only watched him wrestle a couple times. Now at Oklahoma State, the most storied and successful sports program in NCAA history, Montalvo’s expectations stay the same. He want to better his life through education and wresting. His goals are to maintain a high GPA, as well as being named an All-American in his first year of competition. PAGE 2




disn ey


OSU students discover the magic of working at Disney Emi ly Wiec h m an n

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One year ago, hospitality and tourism management senior Caroline Vitanza decided to apply to the Disney College Program. Though Vitanza was unsure of what her experience would be like, or if she had the skills to make it through the program, the Texas native took a leap of faith and applied. Little did she know that working at the Port Orleans Riverside Resort as a quickservice food and beverage worker would change her life. “I didn’t realize how much I would learn during my time there,” Vitanza said. “I’m more confident in my abilities to get a job in this field and it totally changed the way I think about the industry.” Hospitality students are more likely to receive job offers and be prepared for the intense workload these jobs entail if they have previous experience with a rigorous internship like the Disney College Program. Selected students are exposed to all aspects of the parks and resorts, while participating in leadership and career development classes and getting a behind-the-scenes look at guest services. Being a part of the 20% of applicants who​​are accepted into this program is an advantage for students and the expertise they develop will impact the future employees of the hospitality industry. According to the NACE Center for Career Development, graduates with internships were able to find

jobs within six months after graduating because of the experience gained through their internship. Students in the program develop communication and teamwork skills that are valued by all companies, not just Disney, which gives them a potential advantage over other students who have not had this experience. According to the Journal of Employment Counseling, internships that develop these skills can prepare students for their future jobs. Disney’s goals of creating a fun and magical world for its customers is what resonated with​​Vitanza and moved her to apply to their college program. “Employees at Disney have very labor-intensive jobs, but they are doing that job with a smile on their faces because they love the values the company stands for and love making the guests happy,” Vitanza said. “That is something that is so important to me.” Students in the program leave with communication and leadership skills because Disney makes it a priority to teach their employees about their values and give the students the hands on experience that will prepare them for their future careers. Adrianna Santiago, another student going through the program, has seen how her communication skills with guests and co-workers has developed based on the training for the interns. “One of the first things we learned in our training is something they call “nextlevel courtesy,” Santiago said. “Our supervisors taught


us to go to the next level for guests to set ourselves apart from other vacation destinations, part of this being able to have conversations with the guests and make them feel welcomed. I am so much more confident in talking to people now that I see how it changes a person’s experience in hospitality.” The students in the program learn how to bring a magical effect into their work by working with customers and learning how effective a positive attitude in the workplace can influence a family’s experience at Disney World. “The ultimate goal there is to make magic and happiness for the guests,” Vitanza said. “These people are here for vacation so that they can enjoy themselves and be happy and the employees are a big part of that, even if we didn’t realize it.” Dr. Pamela Roush from the University of Central Florida describes the objective of having this hands-on experience as a valuable lesson for the students. “The work experience component of the program exposes interns to Disney’s business and entertainment philosophy in a real world context,” Rouch said. “The students are exposed to a variety of the operations of the Walt Disney World Resort including food, merchandise, attractions, custodial, hospitality, recreation, tickets and transportation.” Working in these positions and learning how to apply the values of the company will prepare these students for the duties they will have to fulfill in their future career on a daily

photo provided by caroline vitnza

Caroline Vitanza keeps her nametag pinnedn a board in her room to remind her of the experience she had.

basis. Bailey Payne, an international business major at Oklahoma State University, has seen the influence these values have on a student’s work ethic. “A lot of people in my courses are really successful and have jobs set up because of the values they learned at the program inspired them to do their best in their courses and work,” Payne said. “I guess a lot of companies really notice the difference in those students.” The Disney College Program prepares the future employees of this industry by giving them a real-world experience that can not be found in a textbook. Before she applied to the program, Vitanza had little experience in her major. The Florida-based Disney College Program taught her managerial and leadership skills by not only letting her work in their facilities but


also offering classes that discuss subjects such as career evaluation and the theory of hospitality to provide a wellrounded learning opportunity for students to use in their future careers. Lam Hing Kok, a human resources management major from Hong Kong Baptist University, found that the Disney College Program curriculum was beneficial for the students and encouraged them throughout the process. “The educational resources provided were perceived as helpful and positively correlated to job satisfaction and affective commitment,” Kok said. Disney merchandise cast member and trainer Cheyenne Robertson works closely with the students in the program and sees first hand how the benefits of having work experience and access to specialized courses prepares them for the service they will be providing.

“These learning opportunities benefit the students because they are put in real situations they would have to deal with on a daily basis,” Robertson said. “In their courses they are given scenarios and learn the skills on how to handle these situations like a manager would. Having this type of curriculum helps the students because they are actively learning instead of just reading from a textbook.” Working at a company that prioritizes education and providing a quality guest experience through their values for four months improved Vitanza’s confidence. “It’s a lot of hard and tedious work, but I absolutely loved my experience,” Vitanza said. “I want to work there so badly after graduation. I connect so well with its values and the work they put into to make Disney a magical place I can’t imagine myself working anywhere else.” PAGE 4

cowb oy basketball


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Phil Forte raises his framed jersey for senior night before Oklahoma State’s game against No. 1 Kansas on Saturday, March 4, 2017 in Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater.

Where are they now: Forte reflects on the best five years of his life C hr i s B ecker S taff Repo rter @ bhris_cec k er

The college glory days don’t last forever. For some, they move up in life quicker than expected. Some former athletes go into coaching immediately and other take time away from the game. Former Oklahoma State basketball standout Phil Forte III went into coaching immediately after graduating. Forte went to St. Louis University as a graduate student manager under former OSU coach Travis Ford. Forte is now an assistant coach at Sam Houston State University. Forte said he was close

to staying in St. Louis for a player development role, but an offer came that he couldn’t refuse. “I had a run-in with coach (Jason) Hooten,” Forte said. “I had a conversation with him, and about a month and a half later they had a position come open. I interviewed for the job, and got it so it was kind of last minute. I was two days away from signing a lease in St. Louis. So it’s just crazy how everything comes together and how life works. I obviously couldn’t pass up on being an assistant coach.” Forte said he has always wanted to coach, but doesn’t like to think about the future to often and wants to focus on how he can be the best


coach at where he is now. “You never really know where you are going to end up,” Forte said. “So I try to focus on where I’m at now and be the best coach at Sam Houston State and be the best for our program and our guys that we have here and our coach for the university that I am working for. Now, I’d be lying to say that one day if I could ever end up back at Oklahoma State that would be awesome. You know that would be a lie, sure if there was one that would ever come to mind it would be great to be back in Stillwater someday because there are just so many memories there, and that was the best five years of my life.”

In his time at OSU, Forte was a dynamic three-point shooter and the Cowboys’ answer to losing Keiton Page. Forte had an immediate impact for the Cowboys. In his freshman season, Forte played in 33 games and shot 37% from the field. He averaged 10.2 points per game and 33.8% from three-point range. His best season came in his junior year, where he averaged 15 points per game. Forte shot 42.4% from the field, 38% from three and started all but one game for the Cowboys. Forte scored 1,746 points in his career and had a 39.5% shooting percentage from beyond the arc. Forte and the Cowboys


had a lot of quality wins and big upsets. One that immediately came to Forte’s mind was an upset-win in Lawrence, Kansas against the No.1 Jayhawks in 2013. Cowboy fans may remember this game from the post-game celebration of Forte fist bumping and Marcus Smart doing a backflip at center court. One Bedlam memory that stuck out to him was in senior year when the Cowboys won both games. “My last year when I was playing for coach [Brad] Underwood,” Forte said. “We went there and won in Norman for the first time, in probably eight to 10 years, and we went there

and I hit the game winner there. It was my last year my senior year you add all that in it’s a very special moment. Then we played them at home about a month later and that game was crazy it was back and forth we came back late and that was the first time we swept them in probably 10 years as well. It was my last time playing Oklahoma both those game my senior year was very special because you know it is what it is but. When you go to Oklahoma State you just don’t like Oklahoma. That’s just what it is. When you’re there for five years like I was the rivalry really just gets in your blood.” PAGE 5


c owboy bask et ball

Consistency in practice lays foundation for Cowboys’ early success H allie Hart Co- E d ito r-in - C h ief @ha lliehart

Mike Boynton realized the Oklahoma State men’s basketball team would benefit from a bad practice. Through the first two or three weeks of practicing as a group, every session went well. Coach Boynton said he then attempted to create a bad one so the Cowboys were forced to deal with challenges, but their early progress had showed him something unusual about his team. “It’s not normal for a team to be consistently good in practice,” Boynton said. “Usually, you get past the first week or so, and guys kind of lose interest in practicing just because they want to play, they’re natural competitors.” In the midst of the season, the Cowboys are maintaining their high level of focus in practice, and the results have spoken for themselves. OSU is 7-0 after winning the NIT Season Tip-Off with a 78-37 smackdown of Ole Miss in Brooklyn, New York. The Cowboys squeezed into the USA Today Coaches’ Poll at No. 25 after the victory. Their next test is against Georgetown (4-3), the team NBA legend Patrick Ewing coaches. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Gallagher-Iba Arena. Although the season is young, the Cowboys have established an identity as strong-willed defenders and persistent workers, personifying Boynton’s phrase “Work wins.” Jonathan Laurent, a graduate

eliza kent/O’COLLY

Keylan Boone drives to the basket during the OSU vs. Western Michigan basketball game, on Nov. 22, at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

transfer guard/forward, said he thinks they have had only two bad practices among many strong ones. As a first-year OSU player, this general pattern of consistency is new for Laurent, who was previously at Rutgers and then the University of Massachusetts. “That’s pretty incredible coming from what I’ve seen and the programs I’ve been in,” Laurent said. “It’s hard to string a lot of good practices together.” It doesn’t matter where the Cowboys are. In Brooklyn, they climbed several flights of stairs to practice in the Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School gymnasium, Boynton’s home venue before his college days at South Carolina. Laurent and point guard Isaac Likekele said they enjoyed seeing Boynton get active on the court with them. “I wonder, sometimes, the guys don’t necessarily believe that I actually played,” Boynton joked. “But my name’s on the wall, so there’s some


proof.” Although Boynton said he doesn’t usually run up and down the court with the Cowboys, he sometimes interposes himself in half-court practice scenarios. Boynton’s involvement can light a fire in them, but with a combination of seasoned leaders and enthusiastic freshmen, practices are filled with energy whether Boynton is playing man-to-man defense or observing from the sideline. Of course, no practice is perfect. Newcomers such as Laurent are still adjusting to the stifling defensive style that is exemplified in sophomore Yor Anei’s authoritative blocks, but the Cowboys’ dedication to their craft gives Laurent hope for the rest of the season. “People are still working in and out of practice,” Laurent said. “Coming in early, staying late, getting the shots up after practice, so I feel like we could be a really special crew. We just gotta keep on fighting and keep on doing what we’re doing right now.”


Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Lewis

ACROSS 1 Retina 5K computer 5 Pet collar clip-on 10 Theme park with a geodesic dome 15 Bite 16 Bête __ 17 Place to get clean 18 Medication unit 19 Crooner who co-wrote the “Chestnuts roasting ... ” song 20 Swim events 21 Holiday song whose first line ends, “come sailing in” 24 Pooh’s dour friend 25 Leader with a dot-edu address 26 Brief “If only I could unhear that ... ” 29 2018 US Open winner Osaka 32 Inductee 34 Personal 37 Marathoner’s woes 40 One for the road? 41 Holiday song first recorded by Gene Autry 45 “The Nutcracker” skirt 46 Like some owls 47 Cottonelle layer 48 Jumps in 51 Apply to 53 Nonprofit aid gp. 54 Opera set in Egypt 57 Curtains 61 Holiday song based on a traditional German folk song 65 Storybook pachyderm 67 Pens 68 __ Kong 69 “Home Alone” actress Catherine 70 Line dance 71 French friend 72 Area component 73 Ready to pour 74 What 21-, 41- or 61-Across is ... and, phonetically, a curiously apt common feature of those answers



By Jeff Eddings

DOWN 1 Many a lowbudget flick 2 Reindeer cousin 3 Analyze 4 Ponder 5 On paper 6 Spot for a wreath 7 Hankook product 8 Like bodyguards 9 “Six __ a-laying ... ” 10 Valuable fur 11 Sound often not allowed? 12 Celebratory gesture 13 Granola kernel 14 MLB playoffs broadcaster 22 Stretch of land 23 Holiday roast 27 Heavy __ 28 Wry twist 30 “Do the __!” 31 Texting qualifier 33 Gaping hole 34 Quite a lot 35 Squeezed (out) 36 Decently

Tuesday’s Puzzle Solved

©2019 Tribune Content Agency, LLC

38 Where the Amazon begins 39 Nine-digit IDs 42 Mystery writer Grafton 43 Rush job phrase 44 Fragrances 49 Really spirited 50 Title for Patrick Stewart 52 Eponymous hot dog guy Handwerker


55 Summer songs? 56 __ Martin: British car 58 Ad 59 Choice start 60 Jason of “The Muppets” 62 E-commerce icon 63 Color variant 64 Huge opening? 65 Present prettifier 66 Sashimi choice


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Hor osc ope

Daily Horoscope By Nancy Black Tribune Content Agency


Level 1 2 3 4

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Solution to Tuesday’s puzzle

Complete the grid so each row, column and 3-by-3 box (in bold borders) contains every digit, 1 to 9. For strategies on how to solve Sudoku, visit

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