SportStars Magazine

Perez on Perez: Striving for Excellence

University of Iowa – 3x Letter Winner (Photo: University of Iowa)

Leading by Example both on and off the Mat – The Perez Perez  Story and Q&A by Al Fontes

“Perez Perez has been an unbelievable staunch pillar of what this program is about when you’re not necessarily in the role that you want to be in,” said Iowa head coach Tom Brands. “He has done nothing but make this place better. He has done nothing but make his teammates better.”

It’s About living Live to the Fullest

Trying new things, going on adventures, enjoying family and friends, learning from one’s mistakes and thriving to constantly improve…to give back to those who gave to you.

That has always been my mindset. We only get one shot at it!

A big surprise to me was learning that Perez “Emilio” Perez of Windsor High School has been competing at the University of Iowa for the last five years and recently graduated.

Although he didn’t start during those years, he proved hard work, commitment, and perseverance can make all the difference in team dynamics.

Perez first began the sport wrestling at the young age of 9 upon the request of his Dad’s friend.A native of Windsor, Perez began wrestling at the young age of 9 upon the request of his Dad’s friend.

Taking his lumps early on, he never gave up. He chose to push forward in achieving his goals. With time and repetition on the mat, Perez began to see the fruits of his hard work and commitment. He earned a medal at the prestigious California State Wrestling Championships, the second to achieve this feat at Windsor High School.

Perez also earned a North Coast Section title in 2014, placed three times at NCS, and won four league championships.

Above these accolades, he also became the first wrestler in the Windsor area to earn All-American honors at the National Championships in Fargo. The win capping his high school career with four All-Americans honors overall.

Perez Perez among fellow Greco-Roman All-Americans – Team California (Fargo)

Perez is an example of the American spirit,. An individual that in the midst of adversity and defeat, moves forward regardless of the outcome.

Competing for such a prestigious program like Iowa speaks volumes, especially when he has spent the last five years battling and surviving in the toughest and most demanding program in the country without being the starter at his weight. He is truly a leader both on and off the mat.

This past week, I had the opportunity to speak with Perez about his journey, graduation, and where he plans to go in the future. Read my Q&A with Perez Perez on The California Wrestler.

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