Tiger wrestler Joe Perry begins a journey that he has wished for a long time.
Perry signed a scholarship May 22 to continue his wrestling career at Anderson University in Anderson, S.C. under coach Dock Kelly.
“Joe (Perry) has grown dramatically over the past four years,” said Head Coach Arron Haynes. “We are proud to send him off to college to represent Dawson County, and we are pleased that he has the opportunity to pursue his passion of wrestling during his college career.”
Anderson has a noted tradition of having a fine wrestling program. The team competes against big schools like Duke, North Carolina State, Davidson and Virginia Tech. They just returned from the NCAA finals in Houston, Texas.
Looking forward to his college experience and all that comes with it, Perry says that he plans to major in Biology in hopes to teach at the high school level.
Perry is coming off a state championship at 130 pounds in the AA state finals held at Gwinnett Arena back in March. Perry defeated Tyler Scott from Dublin High School to take the title by a close 8-6 margin.
Friday’s signing was the end of a long, hard road for Perry, who has been a part of the high school’s wrestling team for two years. He was voted as a team captain by his teammates.
Moments after winning the state championship, Perry was quoted as saying: “I am so happy for my family. I hope this will lead me to a chance of going to college and wrestle,” he added. His wish came true on Friday.
Perry’s mother, Allison Webb, said that her son has been faced with much adversity in such a short time.
“He has overcome so much, and if anyone deserves this (scholarship opportunity), it would most definitely be him,” she said. “I thank God that he has been blessed with an opportunity such as this, and I wish him well and much success in the coming years.”
Floyd Perry, Joe Perry’s father, was equally as proud of his son and the obstacles that he was able to over come.
“He has worked really hard and I am so very proud of him,” Floyd Perry said.
Wayne Chelf, principal at Dawson County High School, congratulated Perry for such an accomplishment.
“I am delighted on Joe’s behalf for such a wonderful opportunity, and am equally as delighted for the wrestling program here at the school,” Chelf said. “The signing of this scholarship shows how far the program has come and the potential it has in the future.”
Perry finished his senior season with a 60-7 overall record and for his career had more than 100 wins for Haynes Tigers.
Staff Writer Elizabeth Hamilton contributed to this report.
E-mail Pam Jacobs at firstname.lastname@example.org.