Almost from the moment he arrived in Hightstown from Karachi, Pakistan, at age 13, everyone knew that this was no “average Joe” among Peddie student-athletes. For starters, Yusuf “Joe” Javeri pinned his first wrestling opponent in 20 seconds, won two varsity letters and a valedictory prize, and got himself elected president − all before even finishing junior school.
Once an upperclassman, Yusuf set the unusual and strenuous goal of graduating in three years instead of four and succeeded in doing so by devoting his summer vacations to Peddie Summer School. His remarkable self-discipline also produced a long list of athletic accomplishments during his abbreviated high school career. Described in the Peddie News as “agile and clever” on the wrestling mat, Joe captured three consecutive state championships at 145 pounds and lost only five times in more than 50.
On the soccer field, Joe was an indefatigable defensive stalwart at fullback until Coach Ozzie Rand was inspired to move him up to center-forward during his senior year. Saving his most spectacular performances for his last season, Javeri booted the crucial goal to tie Lawrenceville in a game that would prove critical to determining the state championship − and then, against Blair, scored three goals to lead a 4-2 bashing of the Bucs.
On campus, Joe was soft-spoken and unfailingly well-mannered. His citizenship, leadership and comportment were so exceptional that he was awarded a Peddie Point System Gold Medal, elected to Gold Key as a junior, appointed head captain of the student work program, and served on the House Committee, the Upper School’s highly respected governing body.
The 1954 Wrestling team photo pictures Captain Yusuf “Joe” Javeri flanked by two equally unassuming yet likewise legendary Peddie 1950s wrestlers, Bobby Hicks ’55 and George Entin ’56. It is most fitting that Yusuf now takes his own special place alongside them in the Peddie Sports Hall of Fame.