All American At Last

Senior Muqkadeen Poole, along with 2 others, attained All-American status at the Wrestling National Prep Championships. He shares his experience of wrestling at the Hive and finally earning prestige in his last wrestling match of his Saint Benedict’s career


Alfahtee Huey

Senior Muqkadeen Poole only started wrestling once he was a freshman.

Stepping on to the mat, there’s only three people there. You, your opponent, and the referee. You take a deep breath. Now is the time for you to realize that there is no turning back. It’s showtime. Replacing your initial nervousness is sure confidence. Confidence in your training and your preparation for this exact moment. You shake hands firmly with your combatant and then the whistle blows. It’s time.

I started wrestling when I was a freshman. Growing up in Newark, New Jersey I had never heard of or seen anything similar to the sport of wrestling (except the scripted WWE on TV). But I genuinely feel that I’m in love with the gruesome grind and gradual progression of the sport.

Like most sports, wrestling can teach its participants many lessons all of which have developed me into the wrestler, leader, and student I am today.

“Dont give up that takedown!” Coach said.

“Gotta finish this homework tonight,” I told myself.

“You have to push!”, Coach said.

“Stay up a little longer to study tonight”, I told myself.

Endurance, confidence, strength, motivation, and the list goes on. But what helped me in particular to form into the person I am now is simple patience. Coming in as a freshman, I had an initial anger problem and an innate desire to flip on anyone. Wrestling has taught me to channel that emotion and use it when appropriate for other means. Other means such as achieving goals.

I wanted originally two things out of wrestling. Number one was simply to be a champion, to be better mentally and physically better than everyone in my bracket. Number two was to be remembered-to leave a legacy behind wherever I wrestled. I wanted people to think that “hey that kid Muqkadeen is tough”. I worked hard and achieved both my goals senior year by becoming an All-American.

You breathe heavily. Sweat drips down your face and your arms. But you feel great. When you look at your opponent you know for a fact he feels way worse. His head is down in defeat and he’s struggling to catch his breath even though the match is over. He resembles a fish on dry land struggling for air. You stand tall and shake your opponent’s hand again. The referee grabs your wrist and raises your arm. You won. Sure lessons are learned from both winning and losing. But victory feels awesome.