Athlete of the Week: Samantha Calkins

Name: Samantha Calkins

School: Liberty High School

Year: Sophomore

Sport: Wrestling

Coach: Phil Freeman

About: Wrestling isn’t a sport in which most girls would think about competing, but Samantha Calkins isn’t most girls. For the last five years, she has put the time in on the mat to become a star wrestler, and this summer, her efforts have paid off. Samantha placed third in the nation in the cadet division at 180 lbs. this year, earning her All-American honors at the USMC Freestyle National Championships in Fargo, North Dakota.

“I like wrestling because I get to challenge myself,” Samantha said. “And I’ve met a lot of new people through wrestling, especially my best friends.”

The Brentwood student said she enjoys wrestling for both the Delta Wrestling Club and Liberty High School, and feels supported by her coaches, teammates and family. Until her wrestling programs resume in October, she plans to stay in top shape by playing water polo and doing CrossFit.

Future: As a sophomore, Samantha hasn’t yet received any offers from colleges, but she hopes to continue wrestling after high school. She plans on majoring in psychology or kinesiology, helping people by working with them one-on-one.

Coach’s quote: “Sam was ready for the national tournament,” said Freeman. “We specifically trained greco for three months straight, and she used it magnificently, throwing her opponents to the mat and pinning them in the first round. Top three in the nation her freshman year is a great honor, and she is just getting started.”