The biggest story to come out of this year’s sectional championships was Mamaroneck junior Youssif Hemida. Not only did the 220-pounder become the first section champ in program history, but he did so by overcoming a serious neck injury and knocking off the first, second, fourth and fifth seeds in his weight class. Hemida had such a tough draw because he only wrestled four regular season matches while rehabbing a fracture in his neck, which resulted in the 13th seed. But he showed that seeds mean nothing if you have the skill and desire to get it done.
Here are Youssif’s words:
How did you get started with wrestling? I got a flyer in the mail for kids club in fifth grade and I got hooked the first day I stepped on the mat.
What is it that you love about the sport? You put in the work and you get results.
Describe what was going through your head when the referee raised your hand after the finals: I did it; I made history.
What was the most difficult obstacle that you had to overcome this season? Recovering from my neck injury!
What area do you feel that you’ve improved in the most over the course of the season? My training. It was a lot more serious and intense when I came back because I never wanted to take a moment for granted, cause it could be my last.
What are you like off of the mat? Clumsy and passionate.
What is playing in your headphones while you get ready for a match? Nicki Minaj… jk I don’t listen to music. I feel like it distracts me.
What is your favorite food? Shrimp lo mein with fried rice.
Name one thing that’s interesting about you that people may not know about: I’m the descendant of the Pharaoh King Tut and the Great Khali is my idol.
I’ll be running these “Meet the Champs” posts everyday leading up to states. I emailed all of the section champs that I had information, but if you didn’t receive one for some reason and would like to be included, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.