WHS Alum Profile: Mohammed Ramzanali


Yousef Syed

Former WHS Mohammed Ramzanali with current WHS senior Aun Syed at a friends wedding.

Rahim Ramzanali '23, Contributing Writer

Mohammed Ramzanali graduated from Westborough High School two years ago as part of the Class of 2017. He now attends Suffolk University to study Economics.

Ramzanali was a solid athlete throughout his years at WHS playing football and basketball. His favorite of those two was always football. During his time on varsity, he played strong safety and running back, wearing number 10 for junior and senior year.

Football was always his favorite sport because it challenged him. While other sports came naturally to him, football was a different story. Ramzanali describes himself as a natural athlete with a strong arm, so he was always able to show up and be great at basketball and baseball. Football, however, wasn’t something that he could just expect to be good at. Between learning how to hit opponents and read defenses, he had to put a lot of time and effort into the sport if he wanted to be great. That’s why he stuck with football, because it motivated him to work hard.

Looking back, Ramzanali adds that if he chose to play and train for basketball or baseball instead of football, he wouldn’t be as disciplined. For basketball, he could have just showed up, tried out, and made the team. On the other hand, football required training from January to August. Ramzanali had a strict diet, strict strength workouts, as well as conditioning. When the season started, he had two-a-day practices, conditioning days, and sometimes 100 degree weather days. That would be followed by three scrimmages spread out between three weeks. Furthermore, Ramzanali had to go through a really long and brutal season that lasted until Thanksgiving, and finally got a month off in December, only to restart again in January.

Renee Thompson
Mohammed Ramzanali 17 remembers how important WHS football was to him. Here he runs onto the WHS field with his teammates. He was #10.

Ramzanali also shares that football gave him a routine, which helped him become more disciplined in his daily life. If he ever fell off of his routine, he would fall behind and be unprepared for the start of the season.

He says, “If I fell off the routine and schedule then I would not be able to keep up, and it’s not easy when you’re just showing up on August 19 in a hundred degree weather in shorts and a t-shirt conditioning for 4 hours without any breaks. It’s not that easy. It’s not.”

Sadly, because Ramzanali was always playing and being active, he also experienced his fair share of injuries. During his sophomore year, he suffered a torn ACL in week one of the football season. This was heartbreaking as it disabled him from walking, let alone playing sports, for a long period of time.
Although this injury didn’t allow him to do a lot of activities for a while, it wasn’t completely negative for him. He explains that the time he was out of sports, was a great time to catch up on missed work, try to bring a certain grade up, or catch up on sleep.

Not only did Ramzanali’s ACL injury impact his physical state, but it also attacked his mental state of mind. He shares that when he came back to school with crutches, he felt self-conscious because it showed that his workout regimen wasn’t tough enough during the summer. Then after he had his surgery, he had to go to a lot of physical therapy to get back to walking normally again. He says that during the recovery process he had to overcome many obstacles.

The physical and mental rehabilitation that he had to do was brutal.

Ramzanali says, “There are so many things that I had to do to just walk normally. Physical therapy three times a day, working out at home, and it was tough. Think about this: I start rehabbing in physical therapy three days after my surgery. Three days. I’m all drugged up, I’ve been crying in pain for the last four days, and now I have to start working out again? I haven’t showered in a week.”

On top of that, when Ramzanali recovered and got back on the field the next year, he was fearful because whenever someone hit him below the waist he felt like he was going to tear his ACL again.
Through all that he’s been through and all that he could’ve accomplished, there is always the question of what if he never tore it in the first place. He explains how he was bound to play varsity football as a sophomore, which was a great achievement at the high school level, and he would have continued to possibly play in a D2 or D3 college.

However, despite succeeding on an athletic level, he wouldn’t have succeeded on an academic level. He says that his grades were already suffering from his freshman year, and tearing his ACL made him realize that he needs to work harder in school if he wanted to get his grades back up.
Ramzanali adds that because he tore it and he got a whole year off, he really developed himself in school and created an academic routine which he still keeps today. He thinks it has worked out for him so far, as he has gotten straight A’s in all three years of college.

While being injured during his sophomore year, Ramzanali had a lot more time on his hands. His older sister took a cool elective when she was in high school called journalism, and she thought it would be a great fit for him. She explained how she really loved the class and how she loved the teacher, so he said “why not?” and took her advice. He just expected to get an easy A. But, what he didn’t expect was that he began to love the class very much, and he began to develop great skills that allowed him to put his thoughts onto paper very well.

Ramzanali comments, “It [Journalism] taught me so much about myself and my skills, what I’m capable of, and how I can already put my thoughts and my feelings into words for the first time. Once I got onto The Lobby Observer team and I became the Senior Sports Editor, I was able to go to school games. I was interviewing people and coaches, and I really put all the skills that I honed over the last few years into play. I just felt on top of the world, and so I cherish those moments. I still use those skills that I learned in my writing today. I write case briefs, research papers, and academic journals. I write so much for my economics and my law classes, and it still comes handy even today.”

He also remembers when he earned the senior sports editor position, it made him feel more involved in the community. Prior to this experience, he would go to the games with the intention to just watch them, but now that he was writing articles, he would make more of an effort to watch the game closely, write about who was playing the best, and record the scores. He recalls that he went to at least every single home game, which led him to become friends with most of the players, coaches, and sometimes even the opponents.

Now the players and coaches were personally inviting him to come and write about them. They were making sure that he was attending games, so that he could profile them. People who he met and interacted with back then are still friends with him today, and he feels like that was the best part about being on The Lobby Observer team.

While Ramzanali experienced many great things in high school, there were also some parts that he thought were rather atrocious. He suggests that the worst part about high school was how people tried to start up drama to keep their relevancy.

He states, “The worst part about high school was definitely the drama that people made up just to keep themselves in the loop. Like if a guy or girl felt like nobody was talking about them, they would say something about somebody or make something up like: ‘Oh did you hear what happened at that party this past weekend?’ just so somebody takes what they said and spreads the information, using their name. It was because of this that friendships would break as people say mean things about each other, and drag others in, even if they weren’t involved. Those are the worst parts about high school.”

Ramzanali advice to others is: it costs zero dollars to be nice to someone. He would love to come back to the school as a coach or mentor, to teach the students and athletes some of what he learned in his time there. Overall, he believes that his high school experience gave him many life lessons that he carried onto college. That included learning self-discipline to effectively putting his thoughts on paper. If there was one piece of advice he could give to any high school student, it would be to take Journalism.