You are an athlete. You play football here at Linganore. But it seems like being in wrestling shape is something else entirely. How would you describe what it means to be in wrestling shape?
Oh gosh. Coming from football and going into wrestling is a big transition for me. Just from football, you are going hard for 10 seconds, and then you get that break. Wrestling is continuous, especially at heavyweight. Just that strain of trying to overpower the guy for six minutes straight, it doesn't compare at all to any other sport that I have ever played. Being in wrestling shape just means that I am that much more ready for any other sport in my eyes.
What's the hardest thing about being a wrestler?
Definitely the mental aspect. Coach [Ben] Arneson prepares us for all of the matches. We just have to make sure that our mind is in it, too, even though it hurts, even though we are not feeling good. We just have to keep pushing through and finish the match and not get pinned. We have to give it our best effort to win.
How did you get into wrestling?
Basketball was my priority. I thought I was going to head towards that. But, as time went on, I started focusing more on football. My whole family was wrestlers. My dad was a big high school All-American wrestler up in New Jersey. My uncle wrestled heavyweight at the University of North Carolina back in the day. So, when they heard that I wasn't really feeling basketball anymore, they almost forced me to try wrestling. So, I gave it a shot.
You were the county champion at heavyweight last year. What is the significance of that result to you?
It was important to me. Last year was my first year back in the sport. I hadn't wrestled since sixth grade. So, I came back to wrestling just to try and get in shape for football, and I wound up winning the county championship. It was really cool just knowing that I can still pick this up and work at it and get to where I need to be in the wrestling room and on the field for football.
What are your goals this season?
Definitely to make sure I win a county championship again. I want to just show that I am still the big man in the county. Then, make it regionals and win because last year I got second place. Maybe this year take first place and hopefully place at states.