Noah Johnson: Vista’s Very Own


Noah Johnson

Bella Davis-Smith, Staff Writer

Noah Johnson is an 18-year-old senior at Vista del Lago High School who enjoys wrestling and playing guitar, and he was named athlete of the week when he was just a freshman. He began wrestling when he was in 5th grade, following in his older brother Ben’s footsteps and has wrestled ever since.

He trains multiple times a week for several hours at a time. Their practices vary, but wrestlers do weights, drills, and a lot of conditioning.

“My favorite style of wrestling would have to be folkstyle because it’s what we wrestle at the high school level,” Johnson said.

The high school wrestling season usually runs from October to March, so staying fit for the seven months of the off season is incredibly important so that by the time the season comes around, he’s ready to go. Also, keeping track of how much weight he’s gaining, or losing, is important as well.

“To get ready for the season I usually make changes to my diet and focus on working out,” Johnson said.

Although he enjoys wrestling, the risk for injury is something Johnson, like many other wrestlers, knows all too well.

“I have torn my labrum and the rotator cups in both my left and right shoulders,” Johnson explains.

These injuries have set him back from reaching many victories, such not placing while competing in the California State Wrestling Championships held March 2-3 in Bakersfield, Calif.

As far as nerves go, Johnson experiences those too, so to get his head in the right place, he usually listens to music while he stretches before wrestles, something a lot of wrestlers do in preparation for matches.

Another thing that wrestlers have to do, unlike most sports, is cut weight which is an extremely hard and grueling task. They have to fit into different weight classes, which there are 14 when competing at the high school level, and each weight class determines who their opponents will be based on if they win or lose. Wrestlers sometimes find themselves having to drop up to 10 pounds in a week to prepare for a tournament.

“Wrestling in general is a very grueling sport, having to cut weight, burning 2,000 calories in a practice when you’re only eating 1,000,” Johnson said.

The most weight Johnson has had to drop for a match was 14 pounds, and in order to do so he cut out most of his diet throughout the week, worked out vigorously, and sweat out multiple pounds at a time.

“Noah’s definitely very serious,” said his teammate, sophomore Colin McCormick. “He makes a great leader.”

After he graduates, Johnson hopes to attend Sacramento State University, study nursing, have surgery on both his left and right shoulders, and further pursue wrestling.