When Hugh Himan was facing off against his opponent at his first wrestling match of the season in
2016, he knew that this would be an extremely challenging six minutes, but what he didn’t know that he
was about to face the hardest 12 months of his life.
Earlier in the year, while playing football, Himan began to feel pain in his lower back that resulted in
him sitting out for the last three games of the season. During his first wrestling match against Hough, he
fell to the floor in the middle match from pain in his back. The diagnosis was a fractured spine, an injury
that caused Himan to question the future of his wrestling career.
Himan rested his back and went to physical therapy for six months to strengthen his back. After sitting
on the bench for his sophomore year, he is back for his junior year wrestling season and could not be
“It feels great. I’ve been practicing a lot in the off season and strengthening my back. I just feel really
happy,” Himan said.
He has been working hard to improve his skills and to strengthen himself after his injury. Himan
practiced a lot during the summer to prepare for the upcoming season and he hopes that this year he will
return to state.
“My goal for this season is to win state. I want to improve my back and get my strength back, but long
term I would really like to win state,” Himan said.
Himan said he has been working to get back into his previous shape that he was in before his injury by
practicing with his travel wrestling team and participating in wrestling camps. Although the physical aspect
of the recovery has been difficult, Himan said that improving beyond the mental block was the biggest
challenge for him.
“Most of it is mental. It’s tough coming back from being out for the whole season both physically and
mentally. It’s a lot of getting prepared in your mind and also the hard physical training,” Himan said.
Himan said that he finds the moment of being alone on the mat surprisingly relaxing even though he is
about to be tested physically.
“It’s the hardest six minutes of your life but I love getting out there on the mat all by myself and
knowing that it’s just me and nobody else,” Himan said.
Roberson’s wrestling coach Damon Brown has high hopes for this season. He believes the returning
upperclassmen will help provide an example for what is expected of the team.