Sammy Johnson, Poly, wrestling

Q&A --

December 20, 2006|By LEM SATTERFIELD

About nine months ago, Poly's Sammy Johnson ended an 18-3 season as the Baltimore City champion at 140 pounds, a fifth-place finisher at Class 2A-1A states and 2A-1A North regional champion. He won the regional by defeating Baltimore County champion Marcel Jones, 12-3. Jones, who has graduated, is Johnson's nephew. Last Wednesday, Johnson, a 152-pound junior, won by default over Carver sophomore Daniel Johnson, his younger fraternal twin by six minutes. The youngest of 14 children, the 16-year-olds wrestled in front of their sister Delass, 23, and their brother Walter, 42.

When did you and your brother start wrestling?

When we were 9. I was better, because our first year we wrestled in a beginners' tournament at the end of the year. We wrestled for first and second, and I beat him close, by like a point.

Before last Wednesday, had you wrestled Daniel at any other time?

Yes. Over the summer, we wrestled in July. He beat me by one point in like the last second. The match really didn't matter, though, because we pretty much laughed about it the whole time.

Can you talk about the week leading up to your match last year against Marcel Jones and the aftermath?

There was a whole bunch of tension and nervousness. Everybody was hyping it up. Before the match, he was saying what he was going to do, like, "Yeah, boy, you're going to get smashed." My brother -- and his father, Walter -- he left before the match was over. He was disappointed because he felt Marcel should have won. But he got over it.

Why are you and your fraternal twin brother at different schools and at different grade levels?

It's been that way since he repeated first grade, and since he was set on going to Carver and I was set on going to Poly. If we were together, we'd probably get in trouble a lot. We're pretty mischievous when we're together.

What are your thoughts on finishing fifth at states last year?

I lost to [Stephen Decatur's] Latra Collick, and then finished second. And then I lost another close match. I was very disappointed. After losing the first match, I lost all of my motivation. I was aiming to be in the top three. But I really [wanted] to be the [city's] third state champ.


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