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Athlete Spotlight: Naomi Gonzalez (Interview)

Rehmat Kaur

Volume 4 Issue 3

March 13, 2024

Athlete Spotlight: Naomi Gonzalez (Interview)

Image Provided by Naomi Gonzalez

Naomi Gonzalez, a member of our wrestling team, is one of many exceptional athletes at Valley Stream North. She started wrestling when she was six and is now coming on ten years. I had so much fun interviewing her and getting to know more about her journey.  


What do you like most about wrestling?  

“I like the people and the environment because it’s a very nice and relatable area to be in.” 


Why do you want to wrestle on our school team?  

“I love the sport of wrestling and I have been doing it for so long and I’m good at it and I love my team!” 


How have challenges impacted your motivation to play sports?  

“I don’t stop and if something’s wrong I figure out how to work on it. I’m a perfectionist, but for wrestling.” 


Describe your major highlights and achievements in sports in the past. 

“Last year in 9th grade I got second place in Folkstyle Wrestling State for Women. In summer I was qualified for the Fargo Freestyle Nationals for Women, and I would have become All- American, but I lost my fourth match, it was a 10-2 fall. This year I placed 6th in Folkstyle Wrestling State for Women tournament because of a medical forfeit. I have won Queen of the Mat two times in a row and last year I won the County Championship. I placed first in the Bayshore Tournament this year.”  


What do you see yourself accomplishing in five to 10 years? 

“I wish to improve and just be even better in this sport both mentally and physically as they both play an enormous part in your performance.” 


Which strengths do you believe you have that make you a great athlete? 

“I am determined and motivated to give my best. I take accountability when I’m wrong and try to improve.” 


Which sport is your favorite to play and why? (Other than wrestling) 

“Lacrosse because it’s active and fun. It’s a district sport so I can interact with other schools.” 


Is there a coach or athlete that you look up to as a role model and why? 

“I met Kylie Welker and I think she plays in 170 pounds criteria on the Ohio Women’s Wrestling Team. She is honestly good and cool. She placed a lot in different tournaments.” 


What do you look for in a great coach? 

“Someone who is supportive, the worst thing you can have in a coach is just telling you what to do and who’s not supportive whatsoever. I had to cut 15 pounds in a week, and I had 5 pounds to go in one more day and dropped 4.4 pounds. I didn’t make weight, and I was crying but my coach (Mr. Pingatore) held my hand and ran with me to the stadium trying to cut weight.” 


What's the best piece of advice you've gained from your coaches? 

“If you take a shot run them into the stance, don’t care about the circle.” 

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