McALESTER — McAlester senior James Remedi said he first donned a wrestling singlet at the start of his seventh-grade season. His father, Vincent Remedi, wrestled in college, which helped James ultimately choose wrestling over football.
“Practicing alone was brutal at first, but it got easier,” he said Feb. 14.
James Remedi has grown up in McAlester’s public school system. This season he’s battled in the 182-pound division, winning several matches despite weighing just 169 pounds himself.
“I’m wrestling people way bigger than me,” Remedi said.
“You don’t want to get stuck underneath them. You want to get it over quick — like, get that leg, get them on their back and be done with it. I’m not very quick, but I mean I’m quick for, I guess, my weight.”
That weight was as much as 205 pounds in August, Remedi said, leading to an aggressive dieting program that dropped him to 182 by the first match and then down to 169. He said his diet included eating a salad every day at lunch, consuming plenty of bread and pasta and drinking only water and Gatorade.
“I don’t ever not eat,” Remedi said. “You have to eat something in the day, because if you starve yourself, (you lose) the stored fat in you. I mean, you eat, and you work off what you eat so you’ll be better.”
He added, “For the longest time I hadn’t had soda, and then I had one the other day for the first time. It burned my throat.”
While trying to control his diet, Remedi said he also trained aggressively outside of afternoon practices. And without the proper mental attitude, he said, none his dieting or exercising would’ve done any good.
“If you’re not wanting to lose the weight, you’re not going to get to,” Remedi said.