With 100 Wins, Joey Cohe Set a School Record;
He Talks Here about What It Takes
February 23, 2002
George Mason senior Joey Cohe recently did what no other wrestler in his schoolís entire history had done: win 100 matches in his career. Just as satisfying for Cohe is the fact that his team has met with more success this year than almost ever before; this just years after wrestling almost folded here. Lasso Online interviewed Joey on the eve of his appearance in regionals.
Tell us how and why you got involved with wrestling?
Well the first time I was introduced to it was when I was in seventh grade. I saw an enormous holiday tournament that my cousin and his teammate (a high school all-American) were competing in. I thought that it looked pretty cool so I asked my dad about it. He said he knew a little, and so he started to teach my friends, Josh and Alex, and me some moves.
How long have you been wrestling?
About five years now.
What is your weight class? Have you switched weight classes during your wrestling career?
Right now, I wrestle 140 pounds. Iíve gone down in weight since eighth grade when I wrestled 152. Iíve wrestled matches at 135, 140, and 145 but most of them have been at 140.
Describe your level or commitment to wrestling. How does your life change when the wrestling season begins?
Well just like the rest of the serious wrestlers on our team, you need to work on moves year-round. Mac and I wrestle almost every Sunday during the off-season and John-Henry worked with his dad at school most of the summer. For wrestling, though, you need to lift, run, and wrestle in almost all of your spare time.
Running becomes an everyday thing especially when we start cutting weight. When weíre cutting, some of us lose no weight while others will lose up to 25 pounds. My life usually consists of school, running during practice, work on moves, go home and eat, do some homework, and run again, then sleep.
How does your diet change during wrestling? How difficult is it to maintain your weight?
During the season, the guys on the team have diets that go from school lunch to salad and powerbars. Itís all based on how much weight you cut. I usually eat only salad and chicken. The weight control usually gets easier as the season goes along, but sometimes binges get a little out of control. Like after one tournament, I was twelve pounds over. But everyone on the team has had a moment like that one. Usually, though, I wonít get more than four pounds over. Thatís really not that much. The only time itís tough is when youíre worried the day before or the day of the match. Iíll probably weigh myself between five and eight times that day. Itís pretty sad.
How long have you played football?
Iíve played football for as long as Iíve competed in wrestling.
Which sport means the most to you and why?
Wrestling means much more to me than football. Footballís a great sport and I love it, but wrestling is on a totally different level. I also believe that wrestling helped me a lot in football. Anyone who wrestles is usually a decent football player, just look at the all-district team, especially the defensive side. More than half the team are wrestlers. Itís the ability to put a guy on the ground from anywhere on the field I guess.
What were your proudest and most painful moments on the mat?
Well the proudest moment is really this whole season. Our team is the best itís ever been. Everyone on the team is winning matches and weíve brought home three team trophies. At the moment weíre ranked ninth in the state as a team. When I was on JV, the program almost folded. Now itís like some kind of dream.
The most painful moment is knowing the seasonís over. The Consolation Semi-finals of Districts and Regionals are the most painful. If you win, you wrestle next week. If you lose, itís over.
Where are you as far as the end of the season?
Wrestling is definitely the longest
season. It goes from early November to early March. Now, six of us are
getting ready for Regionals, Saturday. If weíre able to place in the top
four in our class, weíll advance to States which is on March 1 and 2. However,
some of us, John-Henry, Josh, and me, may qualify for some post-season
tournaments for seniors which will be in April. Post-season tournaments
will run as soon as the season ends until November. So the wrestling season
never actually ends, we just gain weight and lose weight.