Brashear wrestlers out to make history

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by Malik Vincent

Brashear is tied with Perry at the top of the City League wrestling standings; both are at 4-0. But the Bulls feature a certain wrester who may end up in the history books, before it’s all said and done.

watts
WATTS WINS—Donall Wood, front, of Oliver tries to escape a hold by Jabril Watts of Brashear in their 125 bout. Watts got the win and the Bulls defeated the Bears 48-21 in City League wrestling action.

Godwin Nyama has won City titles in his first two seasons with Brashear. He is looking to become the first to win a title all four years of high school. He’s also got aspirations to become the first City League wrestler to land a spot on a Division I roster.

But according to him, his “biggest motivation” is to win a state title—a feat that no one has achieved in the sport’s 22-year history in the League.

“He’s a tremendous kid,” said Brashear coach Nate Geller. “Things that he does to get better are amazing. He works very hard and has a great approach.”

Nyama is a Pittsburgh native whose mother was born in Zambia. He plans to take a visit there, he says, “after college is over.” In his down-time, he enjoys spending time with family.  His favorite rap/hip-hop artists right now are Drake and Pittsburgh’s own Wiz Khalifa.

“These are the things that I like to do to sometimes get away from wrestling,” said the 119-pound junior and team captain. “I dedicate a lot of my time to training. I lift and I wrestle. That sums up what I do, for the most part.”

His co-captain is fellow junior and city title winner Doug Sauer, who is the same weight as Nyama, but wrestles up a class to 125 lbs so that he does have to face his teammate in the finals.

After going 20-10 as a freshman, Nyama improved his record to 33-3—the following year. Most namely so far, he came away with a monumental victory in the Allegheny County Coaches Tournament that is annually held at Fox Chapel Area High School last January.

“They were being disrespectful, they said that he didn’t have a chance,” Geller said. “He beat some kid from South Allegheny and then he beat a kid from Shadyside Academy. He was pretty well noticed. It wasn’t even close. I think it was like 9-to-2 or something.”

The 119-pound weight class is expected to be the toughest one in this year’s tournament. Geller thought it might be a good idea for him to get down to 112 lbs. to make it a sure victory. Nyama did not stand in agreement.

“He is wise beyond his years,” Geller added. “He insisted on staying 119 so that he can go into the Regional tournament strong. He understood that he needed to do that in order to be able to face the stiffest competition. He has enough confidence to where he knows that he can compete with anybody.”

A high honor roll student, Nyama—ideally—would like to wrestle for the University of Pittsburgh in college. He feels that, at the very least, he can qualify to go there for free as a student in the Pittsburgh Promise scholarship initiative for graduates of the Pittsburgh Public schools.

(Malik Vincent can be reached at malikvincent@gmail.com.)

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