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Clairemont High's 107-Pound Girl Puts a Big Pin on a Boy and There's Quite a Reaction

January 13, 1986|TOM FRIEND | Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — A girl pinned a boy here recently, and we're not talking about a sorority pin or a pin-up or pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey.

We're talking about a wrestling pin, the kind where somebody grabs somebody else, forces him onto his back and holds his shoulder blades to the mat for a split second. The referee says: "You're out, fella."

But, in this case, a fella didn't win, and this is what's so unusual. It happened at the high school level, and educators here say it was the first time in state history that a girl pinned a boy in a varsity match.

Might it be the first time nationally, too?

Bob Dellinger, the director of communications for USA Wrestling, said he has never heard of such a thing happening anywhere else. "Gee whiz," he said, "I doubt there's anything that's been documented."

So what we apparently have here is history.

The girl's name is America Morris. You heard right. Her mom came from Mexico, and when she had her baby, she wanted its name to stand out.

"We lived in America, and America was beautiful and Americans had big hearts, and I thought it'd be beautiful to name her America," America's mother, Delia, said this week.

America said: "My grandma called me Amy because she thought kids would pick on me if they knew my real name. But I like it now. I see a map, and there's my name. I see a billboard, and it's there. I like it. It's special."

Anyway, nobody picks on her anymore.

She's America, the beautiful. She's blonde, she's trim, she's a model, she's 15. She weighs 108 pounds, but Friday, when she wrestled against Mission Bay, she had to be down to 107.

She didn't weigh in with everyone else in the boys' locker room, though. She took a scale into another room, stripped and weighed herself. Once this season, a boy walked in on her when she was naked.

"Oops, excuse me," he said, smiling.

See, this sport can be hazardous. What if a guy grabs her in the wrong place? That happened in the match she won. She was wrestling a boy named Russell Cain, and he accidentally touched her breasts.

"In the back of my mind, I'm thinking: 'I don't want to touch her in the wrong place.' And then I did," Cain said. "It was Blush City. After that, I didn't do all of the moves I could have. I mean, I touched a part of her by mistake, and I was really embarrassed. I said: 'Oh my. I should forfeit.'

"But I wasn't thinking right. I didn't know what to do. I was in dream time."

So he got pinned.

The place went crazy, of course. It happened Dec. 30 in a meet at Madison High School. Cain was a sophomore from Madison, and America was a sophomore from Clairemont. Cain hadn't expected to wrestle that day, but the regular 107-pounder from his school didn't show up. The coach said: "You're wrestling today."

Cain said: "I am?"

He introduced himself to America. He said he'd be wrestling her. She said: "Oh really?" She smiled. He smiled.

"I made an instant friend," Cain said later.

She took control in the first period. With only seconds remaining, she scored near-fall points with a reverse cradle. Matches on adjacent mats stopped as contestants ran over to see if girl could really beat boy. Spectators ran out of their seats to get a closer view, too. The period ended. The place erupted.

Then, 21 seconds into the second period, she ended it, pinning Cain with a half-nelson.

Immediately, she was surrounded by a crowd that lifted her up. Russell Cain, ignored by the crowd, fought through the people to find her.

He congratulated her.

She hugged him.

She later found Cain's assistant coach and said: "You don't recognize me with my makeup on, do you?"

He laughed.

Then she asked: "You guys won't be too hard on Russell, will you? You won't pick on him, will you?"

Too late. Russell Cain had a new nickname.

"Miss Cain."

It's a week later, Christmas vacation is over and we're at Clairemont High.

America has been on every local television newscast, not to mention the front page of the San Diego newspaper.

She enters the wrestling room, where a teammate sees her.

"Hey, America," he says. "Some girl I know says she saw you at a restaurant. She said she doesn't like you at all, that girls shouldn't be wrestling. That's not feminine, she says. And she says you're ugly. What do ya think of that!"

"Ugly, huh?"

She tackles her teammate.

Later, during conditioning drills, her boyfriend walks in. She blows him a kiss.

Now, we take you to the halls of Madison High. They're talking to Russell Cain.

"Are you the guy that got slammed by the girl? Ah man, you're weak?"

"Man, you're a wimp."

"Man, you're a loser."

"Will you be my girlfriend?"

"Gee, Russ, there're some tough girls in this world, aren't there."

Russell Cain has had a talk with the school principal, who is worried about the youngster's psyche. Cain has assured the principal that he is fine, and later says:

"It (the abuse) makes me want to get up and say: 'At least I tried.' Some guys wouldn't even try.

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