Joe Shum, Severna Park, wrestling

Q&A --

January 17, 2007|By PAT O'MALLEY | PAT O'MALLEY,Sun Reporter

Severna Park senior Joe Shum - in just his fourth year of wrestling - was 15-7 heading into tonight in the 160-pound division. He was second in the Anne Arundel County championships last season, but ran into a loaded field in the regional. Shum, who also competes in gymnastics in the spring was made team captain by coach Paul Joyce because of his leadership qualities.

Not many high school wrestlers bypass junior wrestling and start the sport in ninth grade, so what got you out on the mat?

My brother Edmond started wrestling his junior year, and he encouraged me, along with a friend who was also a football player.

Has there been a gradual improvement in your skills, and who has helped you the most?

I've gained more and more confidence every year. Coach Joyce has been a trememdous help, and his getting me into summer camps has been really beneficial. And Lewis Spadaro [former Severna Park All-County wrestler] comes into the gym once in a while and works with me and gives me a lot of support.

What happened in last year's regional after you did so well in the county?

The regional was my states because the four opponents who placed, placed in the top four for the states. It was really tough, but I don't think it will be that deep this year.

What colleges have you applied to, and will you wrestle?

I'm not sure if I will wrestle or not. I've applied to York, Temple and East Carolina, and if I get a scholarship offer I may wrestle. But wrestling in college is a huge commitment. I plan to major in sports medicine, physical therapy.

Is maintaining your weight (160) any problem, and what helps you with other facets of the sport?

The weight is no problem because my natural weight is only two pounds more. And competing in gymnastics helps me with my agility, muscular development, endurance and flexibility. That's why I do it.

What's your team like this season?

We have a lot of camaraderie, feel like brothers. Our lineup is more solid and stronger all the way through this year, and we hope to get into the regional duals. We want another shot at Arundel, who we lost to this season.

What's your role as a team captain?

Rallying up the guys and setting an example for the younger wrestlers while I'm warming up for a match. I remember when I was a freshman looking at our captains and the work ethic they showed us. That's my job now.

Do you consider wrestling a team or individual sport?

I guess it's both. When we are in a dual and we win two or three matches in a row, you really get fired up. But it is more individual.


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