AOTM – Adam Friedman

Noah Gross

Beacon fanatics may recognize Adam Friedman as the top-ranked chess player in DC. Surprised as you may be, Friedman is also one of the District’s top wrestlers.

“Wrestling is a great sport; it makes you tougher and helps you learn a lot of lessons about life. When you go to practice six times a week for two hours a day, and sometimes more when there are tournaments over the weekend, you learn to discipline yourself,” Friedman said. A lot of this discipline is monitoring your diet. “You can’t eat anything unhealthy for the entire wrestling season. I literally haven’t had pizza in three months and I’m dying to eat pizza,” Friedman said.

As a senior, Friedman has been a dominant force on the mats. He won the Sidwell Invitational, the Paint Branch Invitational Tournament (PIT), and went undefeated (7-0) at the Dundalk King Of The Mat Duals. And it’s not like he is just beating up on a bunch new wrestlers. “There were kids at PIT with over 20 wins that I was beating,” he said. Wilson is the only DCPS school with a wrestling team, so they often face private school teams. “Beating these teams who get thousands of dollars for wrestling rooms and training equipment when we have to roll our mats out to the atrium every day is really satisfying.”

Friedman has not always found as much success as he has this year. Wrestling was far more difficult than Friedman anticipated prior to joining the team as a freshman. “I had done taekwondo for eight years and I got my black belt so I thought wrestling was going to be a piece of cake, but it was the toughest thing I had ever done. When I started as a freshman, I hated it. I was miserable. It was so hard,” Friedman said.

“I lost the majority of my matches my first year, and I lost the majority of my matches the second year. I started winning more in my junior year, but it takes years of practice, perseverance and kinda getting your a** kicked to get better.” A change in his pre-match mentality has also helped fuel his success. “I used to get nervous before matches, but now I’m a lot calmer and I think that really helps,” Friedman explained.

Friedman starts every match off with an ankle pick, which has become his signature move. From a neutral stance, Friedman strikes his opponent in the collar, snaps their head down, grabs them by the ankle, and emphatically flips them over. “I like to send a message early on. I hit them as hard as I can to show that I want to push the pace. A lot of the time that will break a kid and he will know the match is already over.”

Finishing off his illustrious senior season, Friedman placed third in the DCSAA wrestling tournament. Now that the wrestling season is over, Friedman can finally reunite two star-crossed lovers: pizza and his stomach.