Yousef Mohamed, Parkville, wrestling

Q&A --

January 31, 2007|By LEM SATTERFIELD

In only his second season in wrestling, Parkville's Yousef Mohamed, a 171-pound senior, is 27-0 with 24 pins, a technical fall, a major decision and a forfeit. Mohamed, 18, gained a measure of revenge with a 56-second pin of Milford Mill's Charles Blue in the finals of the Overlea tournament, as Blue had eliminated Mohamed from last year's Baltimore County tournament with a pin in 2:28. Playing football for the first time this past fall, the 6-foot Mohamed made 15 sacks as a defensive end. He was voted to the coaches' All-Baltimore County football team. Mohamed's father, Ahmad, came to America from Kuwait to study after the Gulf War in the early 1990s. Ahmad's family, including Mohamed's mother, Hayat, joined him in the country in 1998, when Yousef was 8. Nicknamed Yousef "The Magnificent," Mohamed "is strong with great balance, which can be a neutralizer against anyone that he wrestles," Owings Mills coach Guy Pritzker said.

Your ex-girlfriend talked you into wrestling?

She said, "You gotta do it." She really believed in me. I got on the wrestling team, and I was discouraged by the moves at first. They were complicated. But I grew tougher during my journey.

How did you acclimate to the rigors of training for each sport?

It came naturally to me. I'm called "The Monster." I have so much stamina. [Former state champion] Razzaq Muhammad and [215-pound] Nick Von Canon help out a lot. We run sprints - I'm always first. They wonder how I'm so in shape. The coaches work with me, double-overtime, six minutes. If I have to go the distance, I'll go.

Do you lift weights?

When I was little, I was a toothpick. I got picked on in middle school. I figured, "I gotta change something." Muscles intimidate people. So I'd lift, and lift, and lift. Plus, the ladies like it. The last time I bench-pressed was about 230.

Do you look for the pin?

I visualize the whole match in my mind. If the opening is there, I use all of the power in my body to keep them down. I like football and wrestling the same amount. I'd like to pursue them both. I work well under pressure. I like the pressure.

Which family members are in Kuwait?

My mother's side of the family - her brothers, sisters, my only grandmother I've ever seen in my life. I try to be successful for them. It's motivation. Hopefully, I can send them some videos of me wrestling.

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