Perry earns All-American status

  • Gilmer’s Cameron Perry is pictured above at a tournament earlier this year. At USA Wrestling’s FILA Junior National Championships, he placed sixth and was named an All-American. He hopes to continue his summer wrestling circuit at the Junior World Championships and Pan-American Games. (Photo by Robbie Bills)
by Robbie Bills

Cameron Perry is a well-known name in Georgia wrestling.

He added to his nationwide reputation with a sixth-place finish and All-American honors at USA Wrestling’s FILA Junior National Championships, April 19-20.

Perry, a two-time defending state champion as a member of Gilmer High School’s wrestling team, described the tournament experience as “awesome.” He said his return to national wrestling came after taking a few summers off.
“I decided to get back into going to national tournaments this year. Before, I (attended) a lot in middle school. I improved a whole lot, but kind of got burned out wrestling so much, until recently, when I decided to go again.” 
The event was held in Las Vegas and Perry competed in the junior-age bracket, which was open to anyone born from 1993 to 1995. Because college freshman are eligible to compete, few high school wrestlers enter the tournament. 

Perry wrestled in the 121-pound Greco Roman division. He was one of only two high school juniors in the 16-man bracket. The remaining spots were filled by two seniors and 12 college freshmen. 
Perry’s first opponent was four-time national champion, Colton Howell, of Lindenwood University.
Perry defeated Howell, 2-0, 5-3, and then faced Jordan Wigger of the Citadel in the quarterfinals.
Perry also defeated Wigger, one of the top ranked junior-aged wrestlers in the country, 5-0, 3-0, to advance to the semifinals. 
Perry lost to eventual tournament champion, Isaiah Varona, of Northern Michigan University. He sustained a rib injury during the match that forced him to withdraw from the tournament. However, because of his two prior victories, Perry placed sixth and was named a FILA Junior All-American.
Because of his high finish, Perry also earned a chance to compete for a spot on the Junior World Team. According to Perry, the World Team Trials will be held in June. If he finishes atop his weight class, he will earn a starting spot on the United States’ 10-man team. The FILA Junior World Championships will be held in Bulgaria in August.
Perry is also eyeing at possible trip to the Pan-American games. He was contacted by USA Wrestling and said he would like to attend. According to Perry, USA Wresting will decide on the team after contacting all qualifying applicants.
Over 20 colleges have shown interest in Perry, including Duke University, the University of Virginia, the University of Missouri, the University of Maryland, North Carolina State University, the Air Force Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
Perry said he is in regular contact with nine NCAA Division I colleges and “about nine or 10 more” Division II and III schools.
“Right now, Duke sticks out the most,”  Perry said when asked if he has a favorite among his many suitors. “I want to go somewhere close to home. I don’t want to be able to only come home on holidays. Duke is close, it’s a great school and they’ve seemed to show the most interest in me so far.”
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