It goes without saying that Batavia junior Sydney Perry is far from being your stereotypical suburban teenage girl. Her chosen sport immediately puts that notion to rest.
At the same time, Perry realized her success was measured differently after she first began wrestling against and regularly beating boys during meets in middle school.
“It always depended on the guy I was up against,” she said. “I had people forfeit against me. They weren’t afraid to talk about me in front of me and say some negative things.
“Now that I look back on it, I realize it was not something people normally go through.”
But Perry, who’s one of the best female wrestlers for her age group in the world, battled through. The sport has opened up a career and a door to new opportunities.
Along with that cachet and the platform of being a pioneer for girls in wrestling, over the last seven months, Perry has traveled to Rome, Rio and Klippan, Sweden.
“I don’t think about taking on the pressure of society or what it means for my gender or anything else,” she said. “I just try to keep true to myself.”
True to form, a remarkable drive and work ethic this season spurred on Perry, the 2022-23 Beacon-News/Courier-News Girls Wrestler of the Year.
As the fourth of five children from an athletic and wrestling-driven family, she always sought a way to distinguish herself.
Her mother, Christa Reinhardt, noticed that competitive drive immediately.
“There have been plenty of times I have seen her persevere eve