Perkins places 6th in national tournament

Apr. 16—Lafayette senior Jackson Perkins's competitive drive helped earn him All-American status in Virginia last week.

Perkins came out of the National High School Coaches Association Wrestling Tournament in Virginia Beach with a 6th place finish in the 182 lb weight class, adding to his already impressive resume. Perkins was crowned a state champion in the 190 lb class back in February for the first time in his high school career. For the senior, competing in the national tournament was a way to evaluate his skills at a greater level.

"Really just after state, I wanted to see how good I was on the national level, how I competed against other states and see if I just compared to the bigger guys," Perkins said. "It was very validating."

The choice to compete in the NHSCA Nationals was a decision between Perkins, his father Jack and with the input of Perkins's head coach at Lafayette Josh Walters. The state champion says he had spoken with Walters to see if he wanted to coach Perkins leading up to the tournament, but understood that Walters had other coaching responsibilities back home. Regardless, Perkins was able to come back with a medal and All-American status, which didn't surprise Walters at all.

"He's the type of wrestler that every coach wants, he's the son that every dad wants. I'm extremely proud of him. my reaction was I wouldn't say surprised at all because I knew he could do it. I was just extremely proud and gave him all the kudos I could give him," Walters said.

Perkins is already signed to take his talents to the college level where he will be part of the Benedictine wrestling program in Atchison, Kansas.

He says the national tournament in Virginia won't be his last competition before college. And while he likely won't compete in another large freestyle tournament, he may stick to folkstyle.

Jacob Meikel can be reached at

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