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Plant City Observer Friday, Oct. 6, 2017 1 year ago

Athlete of the Week: Nathan Camargo

The Plant City High School senior went undefeated in his first adult jiujitsu tournament.
by: Justin Kline Sports/Associate Editor

Nathan Camargo is a senior at Plant City High School who has two loves: combat sports and reading. On Sept. 30, he entered a blue and white belt competition in New Port Richey for the former and went undefeated, finishing at 5-0. It was Camargo’s first adult jiujitsu tournament and, even at press time, the Carlson Gracie Plant City student couldn’t believe he performed so well.

Know someone who deserves an Athlete of the Week feature? Email Justin Kline at [email protected] by the Friday before the next issue.


You killed it in that tournament. That was your first one as an adult?

Yes, sir. It was my first time in adult. It was my first time competing in absolute and I was really surprised to go undefeated.


How did you feel, going in?

Well, honestly, I felt kind of scared because it was my first time facing adults in a tournament. But I always have faith in my coach and I knew everything was gonna go well.


When did you get comfortable that day?

I was keeping it my way, being accurate, trying to avoid mistakes as much as I can. It was all about being patient and waiting for the right time to pull off the moves.


What was it like when you won?

I still can’t believe it. I can’t wait for the next tournament.


How long have you been grappling?

Since seventh grade.


How did you first get into it?

I came from Brazil to Georgia and I lived two years in there. It was always really quiet in Georgia so I wanted something to do, and then I came across a gym an hour and a half away from where I lived. From my first class, I was already in love with it.


How long have you been training with Carlson Gracie/Cross Guard?

I’ve been training with this gym for about four years, almost. Three and a half. Since I came to Florida. It feels like home. Really. Everyone is welcome here and I don’t think there will be any person that will not fit in this place. This place welcomes everyone.


Do you have college plans?

I could either go to LSU because I know so many people there, Central Florida, maybe, and I’m also taking a shot at Stanford and Harvard, as well. I’ve got nothing to lose.


What do you want to study?

Sports medicine.


Do you play any other sports?

I did wrestle three seasons at Plant City High School under Willie Knighten. Great coach, as well. But really nothing outside of the combat branch like jiujitsu, MMA, wrestling … if it has a ball in it, I can’t play it.


What other hobbies do you have?

I do like reading a lot. That’s pretty much all I do — fight and read. My favorite book, I’d say the Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis. It’s inspiring, really. I like philosophy even though I’m gonna go into science.


What advice would you give to someone coming to train for the first time?

It’s all about time. Just keep coming and one day, it’s gonna come to you. Whatever you’re fighting for, it’s all about time.

Justin Kline is the Sports/Associate Editor at the Plant City Observer. He has been covering all things sports-related in the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World since 2013.

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