The Mt. Hebron Varsity Wrestling Team brought heat to the Howard County Wrestling Tournament on Feb. 17 and 18. Senior Shaber Ahmad came out on top by winning his first title at this tournament. He wrestled at 195 pounds and won the semifinal round 5-4. Similar to the semifinals, Ahmad won the final round 5-4 over Ernie Smith of Oakland Mills, a competitor from earlier in the season.
In the 195-pound weight class, Ahmad was the second seed behind an Atholton wrestler. Overall, he was 26-11 for the regular season, being undefeated in the county against those in his weight class.
Winning was like no other for Ahmad, who said, “I remember counting down to the final seconds of the match and running out the clock, and I said to myself, ‘I can’t believe I just did it.’”
The feeling of pure bliss was a direct result of all the work he did off-season to become the wrestler he is now. Ahmad came into this season a completely different wrestler, having gained only four wins in the 2015-16 season as a junior.
He recognized that he needed to change his mentality, saying, “I had to stop making excuses and finally step up and work hard. I did a lot of off-season work such as training with the Oakland Mills off-season team as well as strength training 4-5 days a week.”
This work did wonders for him, putting him on top in Howard County.
While he worked incredibly hard himself this season, he is grateful for his coaches and teammates who pushed him every day.
Ahmad spoke highly of his main practice partner, junior Nick Nordhausen, the 15-16 220 County Champion. “Having him in the room with me was kind of like me playing catch up with him,” Ahmad said. “He made me a better wrestler.”
Ahmad began his wrestling career as a freshman. Prior to ninth grade, he had never stepped on a mat. Ahmad wanted to find a way to be involved in school and wanted to get in shape.
“I live for a challenge,” said Ahmad. “I’m ready and healthier than ever. I can’t wait to wrestle with my all and finish up my last year strong.”