The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas


St. Mark's School of Texas
10600 Preston Road Dallas, TX 75230
The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas


The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas


Wrestling for a legacy

Senior Quina Perkison recaps his wrestling career highs and lows, while also sharing his goals to serve in the United States armed forces.
GRAPPLING AND RECRUITING Perkison takes the matt as he gets ready to wrestle on senior night against Liberty Christian. The Lions won the duel 39-32, Perkison won his bout via forfeit.

Cut. That’s how this state champion’s wrestling career started. Cut. 

In seventh grade, senior Quina Perkison tried out for the soccer team to no avail. With his dreams crushed, he had nowhere to go except for the mat. 

At the beginning of his wrestling journey, he showed no signs of the grappler he would become. 

“I truly was horrible,” Perkison said. “I think I was the fourth worst person on the team. I had no idea how to even take a shot.”

Throughout his first year, Perkison faced complete adversity. His ability to win matches or even make much progress during practices made his rookie season mentally exhausting. 

But, during the summer following his first season, Perkison decided to take judo lessons to supplement his wrestling pursuits. The disciplined art was the key to unlocking his wrestling talents.

Going into his second season, with extra training under his belt, Perkison was ready to wrestle with newfound confidence, not only in his ability but also in his mentality. His record drastically improved to 13-3, and he was progressing much faster than the previous season. 

Perkison even had the potential to place at the middle school state championship that year. However, he fell ill on the second day of the meet, which disqualified from progressing further.

With his eighth grade success and progression behind him, Perkison was ready to get to work for his freshman season. 

However, Perkison would have to wait a little longer to begin his high school career due to COVID-19. Perkison practiced along with five of his teammates who went to state and nationals during the spring of his freshman year. 

Perkison finished his freshman year 1-4, but that negative record would turn out to be an anomaly. In his sophomore year, he took third in the state and went to nationals, finishing the season with a 27-13 record. 

Yet, his crowning accomplishment so far in his career came during his junior season. After struggling in freshman year and coming close to a championship as a sophomore, Perkison’s fiery motivation burned brighter than ever before. 

“My freshman year, when I took fourth place, was hard,” Perkison said. “I didn’t like it at all. Taking third my sophomore year didn’t help either. I think those were the two hardest times in my career.”

Additionally, due to his progression within the program, Perkison went into his junior season as a first year captain along with Hayward Metcalf ‘23, Stice Neuhoff ‘23 and junior (then a sophomore) Wyatt Loehr. 

Perkison started his season with an unexpected loss but then quickly got a fire that only grew bigger and hotter as he took home the state championship in TAPPS D1 and SPC wrestling.

He then went on to compete at Nationals. While he didn’t have the performance he wanted at Nationals, he believes it was a good experience for him going forward.  

He ultimately finished his season 34-9, improving significantly in comparison to his last two years. But the feeling of being a champion fell short of Perkison’s expectations.

“It was kind of a let down,” Perkison said. “I was never pushed throughout the tournament, and, during my final match, I won via pin in the first period.”

After his junior season ended, Perkison had new goals going into his final year of high-school wrestling:  to repeat as state champion, wrestle better at nationals, and serve in the military. 

In August 2023, Perkison joined the National Guard to help him achieve his dream of going to the US Military Academy at West Point to serve the nation like his grandfather did. In addition, two wrestlers at school have been accepted to West Point in back to back graduating classes. As part of the National Guard, Perkison drills every weekend with his peers.

Head varsity wrestling coach Reyno Arrendondo ‘87 has played a large role in the development of Perkison as a wrestler, but has also served as a mentor in Perkisons military path.

It’s been an incredible journey with Quina,” Arredondo said. “One of the things that’s been pretty neat is his stature and size. He’s in a weight class that truly helps us.”

Having attended West Point and serving in the United States Army, Arredondo is someone Perkison has had to rely on and use as a mentor throughout his journey in the military.

“It’s very fulfilling for me, because that’s what I’m here for,” Arredondo said. “That’s actually why I’m back at 10600 Preston Road: To share my life with all you marksmen. And if I can help with the military aspect, that makes it even better.”

With Perkison joining the National Guard Reserves, Arredondo hopes others will follow suit and believes that a military academy can be highly beneficial for growth and development.

“Look at Heyward Metcalf,” Arredondo said. “He’s there right now and everytime he comes back, you’re gonna see the change in his personality and the development of him as an individual, as a person and as a leader.” 

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About the Contributors
Nolan Marcus, Managing Editor
Michael Jimenez, Staff Writer