rtstar of the Week: Brian Carmeli
The Jewish Link of New Jersey and Gotham Burger would like to recognize eighteen year old Brian Carmeli as this week’s Sportstar of the Week. The RKYHS senior is a key member of the Kushner wrestling team and has finished three straight tournaments in first place
Brian, congrats on another first place finish. Who is your role model and why?
My coach. He taught me how to fight for what I wanted and led me to levels I never knew I could achieve.
My parents. They have kept my spirits up for my entire career and kept me on track for the other parts of my life when I was too focused on wrestling or something else; they taught me to balance my life.
My opponents. To me, opponents are like teammates who will never take it easy. I try to imagine an opponent who knows exactly where my weaknesses are so I can strengthen them. Moreover, they provide a challenge for me to face; no matter how strong or successful I may appear to be in a season I will always find someone who can beat me one way or another.
Who is your favorite professional athlete and why?
I don’t follow major league sports but if I had to pick a favorite athlete I would have to choose Simone Biles. I wouldn’t say I know too much about her performance outside the Olympic Games, but I can say that, as someone who believes that form is the most important ingredient in wrestling, I think that wrestling is similar to gymnastics in terms of proper conduct.
What is your pregame routine?
Stretch out my legs, stretch out my arms, stretch up my knee-socks and give myself a few impromptu words of motivation that won’t mean much the next time I might try to use them. In the final moments before a match, I’ll do some light bounces on my feet to get myself warmed up, then walk out as nervous as I had been before my last match.
What is your earliest sports memory?
My very first match. I don’t remember the specific school, but the senior I wrestled against pinned me in the first two minutes. I remember crying at the rear door closest to our seats and my captain, Coby Kestler, who went on to take first place and OW at the Wittenberg Wrestling Invitational Tournament, gave me some comforting words that I not only took to heart, but that I repeated to a few freshmen wrestlers this year as well.
What is the funniest thing that happened to you while participating in sports?
I don’t have one specific wrestling memory in mind, but I find some questions that I get about wrestling to be kind of hilarious. When people don’t know a lot about wrestling, we might make a conversation out of it and some of the more common questions include, “Are you allowed to tickle your opponent?” or “What’s so great about two guys wearing spandex and fighting each other so…intimately?”
What is your all time favorite sports memory?
Sophomore year, Morris Catholic away game, overtime and 48 seconds into my match against the captain of their team. I’m on the floor in what we call “referee’s position” and the guy is covering me. There are twelve seconds left in the first overtime period and I’m pretty tired, but I had been fighting a good match so far. All I have to do is stand up, earn my last point and walk off satisfied with myself. Instead, I keep tight, grab the guy’s arm, throw it off of me, get out from bottom and take over the last few seconds with myself on top and him on bottom, and I earned two points just a few seconds before the end of the match. I hugged it out with him and took my award from coach, the OW of the match, at the very next practice.
What do you like to do when not wrestling?
Apart from spending time with my girlfriend or hanging out with some friends, I enjoy doing creative things. Some days I like drawing and some days I like coming up with my own stories, and I hope that one day I’ll be able to publish a story.
What is the best part of being a Sportstar?
Representing myself for what I have achieved and representing my coach for what he’s taught us.
The Jewish Link of New Jersey and Gotham Burger Sportstar of the Week will receive a $10 gift certificate to Gotham Burger. Please send nominees for upcoming Gotham Burger Sportstars of the Week to Sports@jewishlinknj.com.