CMS female wrestler making mark nationally
When: 9 a.m. Saturday
Where: Carson Middle School
While Amber Perkins is making her mark as a female wrestler on the national scene, at the same time she’s just one of the guys.
“They treat me like the other guys,” said the Carson Middle School eighth grader about her other teammates, who are all boys, on the CMS wrestling team.
Perkins and her CMS teammates are preparing for the Tah-Neva area qualifier to be held on Saturday at Carson Middle School. Wrestling is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. The top four wrestlers in each weight class will advance to the Tah-Neva League Championships to be held March 16 in Lovelock.
Perkins is definitely a favorite to advance to the championships in Lovelock at 106 pounds and by what she’s done so far this season, should have a good chance at winning the Tah-Neva League Championship as well.
CMS teammate Diego Villeda said she likes training with Perkins. “She’s more advanced,” he said. “It really helps me.”
Perkins and her CMS teammates have also had the chance to practice with South Tahoe’s team, which has a number of female wrestlers. “All the girls are pretty much treated the same as the guys,” Perkins said.
In every Tah-Neva tournament against the boys this season, Perkins has taken first. “At the last tournament I felt good,” said Perkins about her last Tah-Neva event. “I felt really good about my matches.”
And Perkins has had success against boys on a national level as well. At last year’s prestigious World of Wrestling Reno World Championships, Perkins made it to the podium, taking third at 100 pounds.
“For me getting on the podium — people go crazy,” Perkins said. She added she knows of just one other girl who has reached the podium at the Reno Worlds, a wrestler known as “Freight Train” who placed first. “She’s kind of a role model,” Perkins said.
Last month competing against girls, Perkins won the prestigious Rumble in Reno. “I’ve never placed at that tournament before,” she said.
She has also placed in the top four nationally against girls in freestyle and folkstyle. Later this month she will compete in the Girls National Folkstyles in Oklahoma City and later this year she will compete in the national female wrestling championships in Texas.
Perkins originally participated in jiu-jitsu and began wrestling four years ago. She has obviously used her jiu-jitsu skills to become an accomplished wrestler but admitted when asked if she enjoyed wrestling at first she said, “not really.”
But with the encouragement of her brother, Johnny Perkins, Amber began wrestling and became a skilled wrestler. Amber said her brother plans to join the Carson High wrestling team as a senior next year and she’s looking to wrestle with her brother as a freshman.
It’s also something CHS wrestling coach Nick Redwine is looking forward to. Redwine has worked with Perkins and said he also plans to have her wrestle in as many girls tournaments as possible while she’s on the Senator wrestling team.
“She’s very enjoyable,” said Redwine about coaching Perkins. “She’s a very talented wrestler. I think the talent and the experience she has on the mat, it’s incredible. I think she’s going to be very successful as a high school wrestler.”
Perkins said she also became a skilled wrestler thanks to her former coach at her club, Reno’s Academy of Grappling Arts, Marc Cramer. “The first year, I never got first,” said Perkins about her wrestling at tournaments, adding she would generally place third.
The next year she started finishing second. By her third year of wrestling, Perkins said, “I pretty much won about all my matches.”
Perkins also hopes to wrestle in college. Among the schools that offer women’s wrestling is Fresno State and Perkins said it’s possible she could go there.
But she added, “I want to go to Stanford.” And that may be possible as well. While Stanford doesn’t have a women’s program yet, the school plans to have a program by the time Perkins gets to college.