Written by: Jamisen Ma
Freshman Jonathan Miradi circles around looking to attack. He shoots in on his opponents’ legs and gets a takedown.
This year, Jonathan Miradi qualified for the varsity team and is 6-4 with five pins, an impressive feat for a freshman. However, being a freshman on varsity has downsides. “I feel awkward because all my friends are on JV and I don’t have any friends on varsity,” Miradi said. “I also get very nervous before matches because I get intense butterflies, but it all goes away once I step on the mat.”
Miradi’s strong suits in wrestling are mainly his strength, power, and quick bursts. According to JV captain Calvin Cai, Miradi is a mentally and physically strong competitor with a lot of mental toughness. The wrestling coach thinks he is elite in picking the right spot to use his technique and has excellent awareness on the mat. However, Miradi believes he needs to work on his fitness, stamina and being able to sustain his strengths for extended periods of time.
Cai and Miradi are often seen together during practices. “We work together, practice moves on each other and [Miradi] is a great partner,” Cai said. Wrestling Coach Eric Cramer also thinks very highly of Miradi. “He’s very coachable, shows a lot of energy and has a great, positive attitude,” he said. “He is also willing to try new techniques and refine the moves he has already.”
Since he is a freshman, he is more focused on improving his skills and techniques than on winning. “I selected him on varsity because I wanted to give him some experience in high-level wrestling because he shows a lot of potential,” Cramer said. Miradi agrees with this goal.“I’m a freshman on varsity, so losing by a little bit is ok.” Miradi said.
Miradi started wrestling in 7th grade. “My dad did it and I wanted to give it a try, and my friend Calvin Cai wanted me to go to the practices,” he said. “That year, I got second place, and that hooked me onto the sport.”
Outside of wrestling, Miradi is an approachable person. “I think I’m good at making friends,” Miradi said. Before his matches, he talks to his JV friends and eats as much as he can because he is starving after having to cut weight for a lighter weight class. He also thinks of moves he’s going to use and how to execute them with purpose. Going to sleep is also essential for Miradi before a match because it keeps him loose and not stressed out.
Miradi thinks a lot of people have wrong views and opinions on wrestling. “Wrestling helps you with a lot of things, especially commitment and discipline,” Miradi said. “People who half-ass this sport will fail for sure.”