ALBANY, N.Y.— For an upperclassman to place at states would be an incredible achievement.
The value of that accomplishment becomes exponentially greater for someone who is just in eighth grade.
Yorktown’s wrestling squad can boast of just such a grappler, as Husker eighth grader Chris Perry placed sixth in the 106-pound bracket of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Division 1 Tournament at the Times Union Center in Albany on Feb. 24-25.
“I was able to place sixth at states because my coaches at Yorktown and Iowa Style Wrestling really prepared me for states,” Perry said.
Husker coach Eric Fama said Perry’s work ethic is what enabled him to achieve such a lofty place in the tournament.
“The training he puts in during the offseason and the amount of time he has dedicated during the season is why he was as successful as he was,” Fama said.
Yorktown junior co-captain Patrick Patierno said the fact that Perry was able to place sixth as an eighth-grader was unbelievable.
“It was all well-deserved. He works harder than anyone else I know,” Patierno said.
Perry was pleased with his finish upstate but wants to get even better when he reaches the high school next season.
“I was happy that I was able to make it on the podium and I know that I have a lot to work on,” Perry.
Besides doing as well as he did individually, Perry also enjoyed the camaraderie of being part of the Section 1 squad.
“Being at the state tournament was a great experience,” Perry said. “I enjoyed watching my Section 1 teammates compete.”
The entire Yorktown wrestling program was thrilled for Perry, Fama said. The Yorktown coach feels that to be on top of the podium at states next year, Perry just has to continue training as hard as he does.
“We are extremely proud of him,” Fama said. “Hopefully this sets the stage to have multiple kids up here next year and for years to come.”
Patierno feels that Perry’s success bodes well for the Huskers next season and beyond.
“To have someone on our team place at states at such a young age shows that our team has a very promising future,” Patierno said. “This is definitely a motivating factor for us to get better and sets an example for the team where hard work pays off. Personally, it makes me want to run the extra mile.”
Perry said he will be going that extra mile as well.
“My goal is to work hard in the offseason and compete at a high level next year,” Perry said.