The Go-Getter: Jimmy Tochimani

Carlos Santos, Staff Writer

Imagine a new environment with no knowledge of what or who will come your way. It is hard enough to adjust as well as to keep up to those requirements that are demanded upon entry. People make the choice to either overcome the stress and succeed, or hold back and live a life full of regret. High school freshman, Jimmy Tochimani proves to show and have what it takes to adjust to a new school atmosphere along with the start of a promising wrestling career.

Tochimani had an idea of what Wheaton Warrenville South Athletics would be all about. Like any sport, it would require determination, skill. and passion. The thought of entering a new facility and sports environment had Jimmy anxiously waiting to walk into the first period of the school year as well as the field for the very first time. ¨ Trying to find new classes in a new school with brand new teachers. Making friends was quite easy as everyone didn’t know each other unless they went to the same school so everyone was open to finding new friends.¨ The day went smoother than expected and of course all upperclassmen had to go through this process in the beginning.

From a young age, Tochimani started playing sports for fun with family and friends to eventually joining a soccer club by the time he was in the 4th grade. An athletic career that would carry out from joining West Chicago Soccer Team Monarcas to trying out for Wheaton Warrenville South Athletics. The 2020 season had a positive outcome as the freshman soccer team finished off as conference champions. Tochimani said, ¨ I did not pay attention to my soccer score from the end of the season but it was pretty flat throughout the season, I did not get better, I did not become worse and I did not have many highlights, just flat.¨ The passion for soccer had begun to decline because Tochimani kept on doing the sport over the years. It was time to find a new challenge and passion for a sport the same way Jimmy had as a young boy.

Inspired by older cousin, Rafa Tochimani, Former Varsity Wrestler in 2019 for Wheaton Warrenville South gave Tochimani a reason to sign up for another sport. Given the idea of joining the wrestling team which many close to Jimmy were against, it was something to work for. The after school wrestling practices showed to be physically and mentally demanding. Tochimani describes it saying, ¨ I pulled through and as week went by it was not as hard to complete practices but I was still huffing and puffing by the end of each practice.¨ It was a rough start for the young athlete who finished 0-7 for the first half of the season. Times like this would give Tochimani to reflect on his performance because it was only him and his opponent on the wrestling mat.

The dedication to become a better athlete came in rapidly because the sense of being hopeless would not come that easy for a new competitive sport. Giving motivation to a fellow teammate who was facing the same struggles as Tochimani then paid off with a successful outcome. Jimmy Tochimani went off to win three 2nd Place medals and finish off the year with a 11-6 record for the remaining half of the season. An extraordinary comeback that lifted the spirit of a 14 year old student athlete. Experience is a key component in a competition, Jimmy had gained the leverage over the losses which meant nothing in the end but more work to be done. A change in physique and mentality has changed over the course of the wrestling season. Those who opposed the freshman had a change in mind when it became clear that Jimmy would only get better from there on out. Tochimani said ¨Now they are okay with me doing it as they saw me change from this scrawny to athletic muscular teen, I successfully changed their perception of me.¨

Success is only achieved through hard work, it is achieved by having a motive bigger than oneself, and having the time to improve. Jimmy Tochimani did play sports for fun and for competition, both which are part of being achievable. Muhammad Ali once said ¨I hated every minute of training, but I said. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.¨  Jimmy hopes to carry the same path that his older cousin Rafael Tochimani had when he was a high schooler. Having won three medals, standing on the podium and doing what his family were against at first, there is no doubt that there will be a champion in the coming years.