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  • Victor Milani

The Nordonia High School Senior Year Experience During COVID-19 for Sal Perrine

This has been quite the unexpected senior year for NHS wrestler & football player Sal Perrine. Perrine comes from a family that has produced star student athletes such as his sister Hannah, brother Anthony, and youngest brother Gino. Like most of us, this year has been a roller coaster of emotions for Sal and his family due to COVID-19, and much like many other senior student athletes, there was a burning question of whether they would be able to play in their final Nordonia High School season or not. Only recently has Governor Dewine authorized the playing of contact sports, with many restrictions attached.

The Perrine family and son Sal have graciously agreed to answer a few questions from Nordonia Now.

Paul Perrine, can you give us a brief history of your son Sal’s wrestling / football accolades during his first three years at Nordonia?

Sal is a 3 time  Sectional Champ, 2 time District Runner Up, 2 time State Qualifier and 1 time placer, Due to Covid 19 he was not given the opportunity to attend the State Tournament, his current record is 123-20, Football Sal is gonna be a 3 year letterman for the knights, having a great breakout Soph year on a state playoff team, Junior year he broke the 1000 yard mark with around 1200 yards and 12 touchdowns, he has really set himself up for a great senior year.

Sal, what were your initial thoughts when there was a possibility of not being able to wrestle or play football your senior year?

Shocked that this has came this far. Seems like yesterday we were in the wrestling room getting the news that the state tournament was canceled. Just grateful we are being given the chance to have somewhat of season this year.

Have you continued to work out and keep in shape during the off season, not knowing if you would be able to compete this year?

Yes I have been. However working out and staying in shape not knowing if we even will have a season is scary. I think with all of the coaches being there we have stayed positive all off season.

So far Sal, what has been the highlight of your Nordonia football / wrestling experience at Nordonia?

I think my whole Sophomore year. Getting to play with the football team we had and being in the state playoffs was very exciting and showed me a lot. Then going from that to wrestling at the state tournament and placing while having the flu. I think I was able to achieve a lot and had a lot of experienced teammates teaching me along the way of both seasons.

Paul, has it been a challenge to keep Sal in good spirits during this COVID-19 cloud hanging over Sal’s senior year?

Well if you know Sal, he is a quiet kid. He is into his routine where when he wakes up in the morning—not much is said, and he starts to open up as the day progresses. But, keeping his mind off of the DECISION to have or not have a season really hasn’t been stressed by our family because it would just get us all depressed. As a family we kept our spirits up by doing what we do... hanging out together, and going on our yearly vacation to Hilton Head.  

Going into your senior year, I’m sure you  had many inquires from several colleges to compete at the next level. Was there  a concern that the interest would diminish if you couldn’t play?

No I didn’t worry about any of that, I think I proved I can compete at the next level with the past season I had that was cut short.

What encouragement / advice has Coach Fox (football) and Coach Walters (wrestling) given you during this period of not knowing what tomorrow might bring?

Both have kept things positive and tell us just not to focus on what the media is saying.

Paul, your oldest son Anthony, a former Nordonia High superstar in both football and wrestling, now wrestles at Gardner-Webb. What were his thoughts with the possibility of not wrestling this year?

Well, he talked about his plan since he is a redshirt junior this year, and if there is no wrestling, he might be given the opportunity to have another year to wrestle... Which will be up to the NCAA.

Will it be strange having a smaller crowd in the stands due to restrictions mandated by Gov. Dewine?

I think it will be very different but we can adjust. Just grateful to have an opportunity to play.

Sal, what are your goals for the upcoming football/wrestling season in your final year at Nordonia?

My goals for football are to have a deep playoff run, I think we have the team and chemistry to go really far. And as for wrestling?... I will be the state champion.

For now, it appears they will have a 2020 season. That could change depending on the COVID-19 code color level when the season begins. Nordonia Now wishes them good health most importantly, and a successful closure to their Nordonia Senior year experience. GO KNIGHTS!

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