Alicia Williams, 14, doesn’t back down from a challenge.
And that’s precisely how the freshman Wolverine found herself on the wrestling mat at Windermere High School just four months ago.
“I’m the first wrestler (in my family),” she said. “I think (I wanted to try it) because I want to get into stunt performing, and I always have tried to do something that’s semi-related to it. So I was like ‘Why not try something different?’”
Despite competing against a number of male opponents this year, Alicia Williams had not been able to overpower them. But all that changed at the Ron Peters Tournament of Champions during the weekend of Jan. 7, where she was able to defeat the first boy of her wrestling career.
“I was just kind of in focus mode, because, when you wrestle, you don’t have a lot of thoughts going through your head,” she said. “All I remember is that I thought that I could beat him. Whenever I was close to getting pinned, I was like ‘No,’ and tried to get out of there. And whenever I got on top of him — because different positions give you different points — I tried to stay there and score even more points. I tried to not get tired and keep pushing on.”
Althea Williams, Alicia’s mother, described her daughter as someone who embraces getting challenged.
“I just figured (wrestling) would be something different for her,” she said. “She is very adventurous and not afraid to do new things. To me, that’s scary in itself. When she said she wanted to try wrestling, I was more nervous for her to get hurt and stuff like that, but to her, (wrestling) was just another challenge.”
Althea Williams remembers the moment she saw her daughter win her first match against a boy as a “nail-biting” moment.
“The fact that she was able to maneuver him and overpower him, I was just nail-biting, cringing and trying to record (but not watch at the same time),” she said.
The victory came when Alicia Williams decided to compete at a lower weight class than her original one. So, instead of entering into the 126-pound category, she competed at 120 pounds.
“I was happy; I still am happy, because I was just going into (this tournament) to get practice and more time on the mat, so I didn’t expect to win,” she said. “So, when I actually won, I was really happy, and a lot of girls from different teams came over and gave me hugs afterwards.”
Alicia Williams’ long-term goal is to be a stunt performer, so her hobbies include practicing the martial arts called “Tricking,” a descendant of taekwondo, wushu and capoeira. Tricking is a training method that combines different kicks with flips and twists, gymnastics and dance moves that originate from breakdancing.
“No one has heard of that ever,” she said.
Her wrestling goals for her future high-school career involve continue improving while wrestling girls — mainly get more points — and when wrestling boys, Alicia Williams would love to be able to last longer in her matches.
“There are two things that you can do in a match: try or quit,” she said.