Genesis Torres has passion for wrestling
While the outcome wasn’t perfect, Wednesday night was a special occasion for Genesis Torres.
First, she sang the National Anthem before the Douglas High wrestling team’s home dual meet against Bishop Manogue. Not long after that, she was back on the mat for her first varsity home appearance in a 152-pound bout against Anthony Rosas. Despite competing two classes above her weight, however, the Douglas junior battled through one round before Rosas won by fall in 2 minutes, 56 seconds.
Win or lose, though, Torres comes to compete whenever she steps on the mat — and that includes her signature move, the crossface.
“You don’t get a whole lot of girls in this sport in the state of Nevada anyway and for somebody to stick with it as long as she has … I mean she’s a tough girl,” Douglas coach Jake Fair said. “She’s got a very tough crossface when she uses it. She lets the boys know where she’s coming from.”
Torres explains that her passion for the sport has only grown since taking up the sport three years ago.
“I went to a camp this summer and that kind of ignited my passion for wrestling,” Torres said, referring to the Jason Welch Camp she attended at Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek, Calif. “The year before, I was just, ‘Yeah, I’m on the team,’ and I wasn’t trying that much. But after the camp I was like, ‘This is what I want to do. This is fun.’”
That passion can be seen when Torres moves up to wrestle in the 152-poundweight class even though she weighs in at 138. She is simply happy to contribute on a team that has considerable depth from 120 through 145 pounds.
“She’s at 152 right now, it’s the only spot we have for her, but she’s working her way down to where she can be more comfortable and competitive,” Fair said. “It’s definitely not easy, but she’s working to get there. It takes a little bit of time.”
The 152-pound division is traditionally a tough one that features talented juniors and seniors who combine athleticism, strength and quickness.
“Usually the 152s are big buff guys,” she said. “I would like to be at 132s, but I don’t lose weight that easily. So far this year I’ve been wrestling pretty decent at 52s. If I go to 138s, it’s going to be pretty cool. It will be easier and it just kind of supports that I can do the sport and I can definitely beat somebody at 138s.”
Torres picked up a win over another female wrestler from Dayton last weekend at the Earl Wilkens Memorial dual team tournament in Fallon and she also dropped a narrow 10-8 decision to a Galena opponent.
“She had a real close match that came down to the final seconds,” Fair said of the Galena match. “He just got a reversal and back points in the last 10 seconds.”
Don’t be surprised by any success Torres has as a wrestler. Her father was a successful high school wrestler who went on to coach. And her cousin, Lamont McCann, was a state champion for Douglas in 1983 who coached the Tigers to Sierra League dual meet titles in 2006-07.
“I wasn’t very good at catching or throwing and like I would try volleyball and I wasn’t good at that,” Torres said when asked why she decided to try wrestling. “I like being the only girl on the team and I’ve always been a tomboy, so it fit into my personality.”
Torres discovered the wrestling room after first trying out for the Douglas Dance Line as a freshman in the fall of 2014.
“The room next to us, they were doing wrestling, and I was like, ‘You know, I should do wrestling,’ so I went to preseason,” Torres said. “I liked how much they made us work and that it wasn’t a ditsy sport … I liked being strong, especially as a girl.”
By the way, who taught her that crossface?
“When I told my dad I wanted to do wrestling, the first thing he showed me was the crossface,” she recalled, adding with a laugh. “He said, ‘All you need to know, at least for right now is a crossface … hit them in the nose.’ And I was like, ‘OK.’”
Torres said she is excited to see women’s wrestling grow as a sport.
“I think it’s cool more girls are starting to like the sport,” she said. “A lot of people support me when I wrestle. The girls, whenever I see someone in the locker room, they’ll say, ‘Oh, you’re the wrestler.’ And I’m like, ‘Thank you.’ It’s nice to know they recognize me.”
Torres is a high honors student in academically and a talented singer who performed at the school’s Talent Show in March.
“What an amazing singer,” Fair said. “She did the National Anthem tonight like no other. That was a great job.”
Torres merely smiled when complimented on her performance.
“I sing at my church and I lead worship for junior high and high school,” she said. “Then I do worship for Aurora Pines girls facility with my sister, and my dad does sermons over there, too. It’s just something we’ve always done.
“I like singing, but I’m not passionate about it. I prefer to be more like in the background or off to the side, not front and center.”
Torres does consider pursuing women’s wrestling in college.
“I would definitely think about doing that if the opportunity came along or even just coaching,” she said. “I want to make sure I do something with it for a long time.”