Student-Athlete Spotlight: ‘I learn every day in practice’

Aiden Okamura has been taking part in sport for 13 years


Aiden Okamura is in his 13th season of wrestling and still learning.

Okamura, a 126-pound senior on the ThunderRidge team, was sixth at last year's Class 5A state tournament and is out to improve this season.

“This is my 13th year of wrestling,” said Okamura. “My dad just kind of put me in it and at first I didn't want to wrestle at all. I just kind of got a love for the sport the more I did it.

“I learn every day in practice. I definitely want to place higher at state this season. I have a lot of goals that I haven't finished in my high school career and placing higher in state is just one of them.”

Key stats

Okamura, ranked fifth among 5A 126-pound wrestlers in the Week 7 On The Mat rankings, was 19-5 and champion of the Lewis-Palmer and Legend tournaments.

Coach's take:

`He is the most accomplished wrestler in our practice room. He is a silent leader in the room. He sets example for younger guys.'

Michael Craver,

ThunderRidge boys wrestling coach

Q&A with Okamura

Who is your favorite athlete and why?

Patrick Mahomes. He is a great team leader and an all-around good athlete.

What music do you listen to before a match and why?

Hip-hop music because it gets me pumped up for my match.

What or who motivates you most to excel in sports?

Definitely my Dad (Kyle), and my grandpa (Randy) is always there for me and I try to do good for him.

What is your favorite class in school and why?

Math. I have just always been better at math than writing.

What do you like to do away from wrestling and school?

I like to hang out with my friends.

What are your plans after high school?

I definitely want to go to college for wrestling. I am talking to a couple coaches but I yet don't know what I want to do either.

What is your favorite TV show?

“Hawaii Five-O” because I just love cops. My dad is a cop and I just love cop shows.

What is the toughest thing about wrestling for you?

The mentality and your mental toughness. If you don't step out on the mat thinking that you can win the match, you are not going to win the match.

How hard is it to be the leader in the practice room?

I just try lift up those around me to be the best that they can be.


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