The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

Staff Profile

UNBREAKABLE PROFILE: Shaona Emmanuel

Unbreakable: Impossible to break
Shaona+Emmanuel+26+takes+a+moment+in+between+rounds+of+her+match+against+an+opponent+at+the+MVC+Championships
Lili Moessner
Shaona Emmanuel ’26 takes a moment in between rounds of her match against an opponent at the MVC Championships

Fans of City High Womens Wrestling have seen time and time again the talent of Shaona Emmanuel ’26. With a season record of 31-7, Emmanuel has come away with numerous pins this year. The term “unbreakable” is fitting in many ways to this record-breaking sophomore. 

“It is difficult [to be a female athlete], because I feel like especially with wrestling, it’s such a new sport, so we’re achieving these things as the sport itself grows. The team has already done great things this season,” Emmanuel said. 

Emmanuel has shown real determination on the mat, but it’s not always easy to tell just how much work goes into her success. With her coaches being her biggest motivators and her sister, Nabi, inspiring her to wrestle at City High, Emmanuel has put in an unthinkable amount of work this season and last. Practice has always been about the focus for her, and about taking time to think about the mental side of wrestling.

“When I get on the mat, I put my emotions aside and zone in on what I’m doing. I try not to get too emotional so I can focus and figure out how I’m gonna reach my goals,” Emmanuel said, describing her way of balancing her mindset and the sport. 

In the world of sports, it is easy to rely on the energy that comes from a team sport. With wrestling, even as a team sport, the mental side of being on the mat 1 on 1 is a whole new mindset that many women’s wrestlers have had to adapt to.

“My goal for this season is to get first place in a tournament. I’ve never gotten first. That’s always been my goal,” Emmanuel commented before taking the mat for her second match of the MVC Championships. “If I don’t achieve my goal, I just go to practice and try harder to get to the level I need to be for next time.”

But this time, she didn’t have to go back to practice and try harder, she just had to set a new goal for her next meet. Emmanuel had been preparing for the moment, and when she went in to wrestle, she took home first in the MVC Championships. So far, her season has been incredible. Emmanuel, just a sophomore, is already breaking school records for most pins in a season and has taken down the #1 and #2 seeds to secure a championship last weekend at Cedar Rapids Prairie. 

“My favorite thing about wrestling is when you win but you know why. When you put in the effort, you get to see the success happen,” Emmanuel said.

Shaona Emmanuel ’26, described by her teammates as humble and strong, is up for Press Citizen’s athlete of the week. The link to vote is below.

https://www.press-citizen.com/story/sports/high-school/2024/01/22/vote-press-citizens-athletes-of-the-week-for-jan-15-21-iowa-high-school/72305185007/

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Little Hawk
$1750
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Iowa City High School. For 2023, we are trying to update our video and photo studio, purchase new cameras and attend journalism conferences.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Kaitlyn Brown, Sports Co-Editor
I have a cat named Robb and I like soccer
Lili Moessner, Yearbook Editor
Donate to The Little Hawk
$1750
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Little Hawk Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *