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Sarasota Athlete of the Week: Samir Redden

The Booker High junior wrestler won the 120-pound weight class of the Tornadoes' regional tournament Feb. 24.

Booker High senior wrestler Samir Redden.
Booker High senior wrestler Samir Redden.
Photo by Ryan Kohn
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Samir Redden is a senior wrestler at Booker High. Redden (33-7) won the Florida High School Athletic Association Class 1A Region 3 tournament in the 120-pound weight class, defeating sophomore Uy'Kwon Zi Wimberly (54-12) by fall in 36 seconds. Redden will now compete at the Class 1A state tournament, held Feb. 29-March 2 at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee. 

When did you start wrestling?

I started my sophomore year. My head coach (Shane Hamm) said I should come check it out, but I hesitated at first. When he asked me again, I decided to try it. I've been going ever since. 

What is the appeal to you?

Well, practice was hard at first, but once I started to learn (the technique) I got used to it. I started to enjoy it because it was fun tossing people around. I actually shoot people more than I toss people now, but that was the start. It's fun going against people your size and seeing how good you are. 

What is your best skill?

I think I'm a good all-around wrestler. I can do top or bottom. I can shoot. I'll do whatever my coach asks me to do. 

What is your favorite memory?

Winning the regional title in 36 seconds. I knew I could stop most of his moves and pin him, but I did not expect it to be that quick. I had a mission to complete and I completed it. The job is not finished, though. I have to get that state title. 

What is your mindset going into states?

Just keep working. It's all gas, no brakes. I'm pushing the pace. There's no going easy anymore. My coaches are motivating me every day and pushing me to go harder. They are telling me I can do it. 

What is your favorite food?

I haven't been eating a lot lately because I'm cutting weight. My go-to right now is bread and jelly. (Laughs.) But when I'm not cutting, I like beans and rice, and spaghetti. 

What is your favorite school subject?

I like math. It comes pretty easy to me. 

What are your hobbies?

Honestly, I'm usually working out or running. But I play games like "Fortnite" and "Call of Duty" sometimes. 

What is the best advice you have received?

This sport is a mental thing. You have to beat it yourself. No one can help you out there. It's just you. Go out and win. 

Finish this sentence: "Samir Redden is …"

Outgoing. I keep the energy good. I want to make sure everyone's happy. 



Ryan Kohn

Ryan Kohn is the sports editor for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. He was born and raised in Olney, Maryland. His biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. His strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

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