There’s a first time for everything

There's a first time for everything
Sixteen-and-a-half-year- old junior Miki Kama moved to Vermillion this year with her little sister, freshman Ana Kama and their mother Gwen Morinaga. Morinaga came to Vermillion with two of her daughters to finish her college degree and to expose her girls to a true South Dakotan education.

Not to say anything negative about the education they were getting in Hawaii, it just so happened that here in Vermillion they would be given more liberties, such as being allowed to select their classes from a larger list of courses.

A fan of sports, Kama started school at VHS with the intention of participating in both basketball and wrestling. Since both wrestling and basketball were in the same season, Kama chose wrestling.

"I wanted to follow in my older sister (Elise's) footsteps," Kama said of her motivation for joining the wrestling team in the first place. "My mom also motivated me to join."All Kama had to do to join the team was to go with the flow, so to speak.

"I just had to do what all the other wrestlers had to do, get papers signed and go to practice." To get in shape for the season, Kama ran and lifted weights. Throughout the season, Kama felt supported by her coaches and teammates, feeling no discrimination against her from the other VHS wrestlers or the coaches whatsoever.

Fellow wrestler, junior Mike Feddersen, says that "she worked hard the whole season and did just as well as any of the guys did." But from other towns, on the other hand, inquisitive and judgemental glances met her wherever the team traveled.

"When we traveled to another town, all the boys would look at me and be like, 'What is she doing here?' " But, nevertheless, Kama stuck with it. Setting the record for being the first female wrestler here at VHS. For those other girls considering joining the wrestling team, Kama says not "(to) be scared."

As long as current athletic director Jason Huska's been in charge of sports here at VHS, there hasn't been another female wrestler other than Kama. The reigning A.D. for 12 years before him, teacher Gary Culver, is also unaware of any other female wrestler in VHS history.

The only reason for Kama being the first female wrestler, according to Huska, is that there's been no interest from the female student population to wrestle.

This story is published thanks to a joint agreement between the Plain Talk and Vermillion High School journalism class.

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