PERU - Arik Robinson is a winner three times over.
The Peru High School junior was recognized by the Peru Town Council April 12 for becoming the New York State Public High School Athletic Association's first three-time Section VII state wrestling champion. Robinson accomplished the feat after taking first place in Division II's 112-pound weight class at the NYSPHSAA Wrestling Championship held in Albany in February.
Robinson was presented a plaque by Town Supervisor Peter G. Glushko and Councilman Kregg M. Bruno, one of Robinson's coaches who offered him words of congratulations during the presentation.
"I think its pretty nice that they did that," Robinson said of the recognition.
Mike Hogan, another of Robinson's coaches, was also in attendance for the presentation and praised both Robinson and the town council.
"It's good to see that even though we have so many kids getting in trouble nowadays that we have some kids here doing the right thing and that they're getting recognized by the town," said Hogan. "Arik's done a wonderful job and he deserves this. He works really hard."
The young wrestler's father, Chad Robinson, said he and Robinson's mother, Tina, are very proud of their son for his accomplishments.
"I didn't have quite the accomplishments he has but he's bested me in many ways," Robinson's father said of his own high school wrestling career. "[The recognition] is a real good thing for him and makes him feel good. It makes us proud, too. We're very proud of him as a family."
Now that Robinson has set the bar high for future Section VII wrestlers, his coach has one more challenge for him.
"We'd like to see him win one more, because there's only four of those in New York State history. Not to put the pressure on him," Hogan said with a laugh. "I think he's going to do it, though. He's a marvelous athlete."
Regardless if he becomes a four-time state champion, Robinson said he has plans to go to a Division I college after high school and continue his wrestling career. He credits that to the support he receives.
"It helps that I have really good coaches and really good wrestling partners to push me and do better," said Robinson.