BLOOMFIELD – Bloomfield High School senior Amia Goins has excelled as a prep wrestler, and is a leader on the Bobcats softball team, preparing for a second round game in the New Mexico Activities Association’s Class 4A state tournament.
She is also officially about to become a Grizzly.
Goins, who capped off her senior wrestling season as a state champion at the 185-pound weight class last March, signed a letter of intent to attend Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado, and will join the women’s wrestling program.
Goins, who leads the Bloomfield softball team with seven home runs and 24 runs batted in this season, will be one of the anchors on a women’s wrestling program in its first year as a recognized sport at the university.
“Being a part of something that’s just getting off the ground means a lot to me, and I’m so grateful to have that opportunity,” Goins said.
Goins capped off a phenomenal senior season as a member of the Bloomfield High wrestling team, winning 38 of 42 matches and claiming the 185 -pound championship with a victory over Elena Moya of Volcano Vista at the state tournament in Rio Rancho.
After visiting several colleges across the country, Goins said the decision to join Adams State was based partially on the excitement of being a part of something new.
“To have this chance and to be able to do it where I really wanted to go means so much,” Goins said. “Adams State really impressed me when I visited them, and the people and coaches there really pushed me.”
Coaching the Grizzlies women’s wrestling team will be Kyle Sand, who’s making his return to the university after a stellar wrestling career as a student-athlete.
Sand was a two-time NCAA champion and three-time All-American. He was chosen to lead the program in its first year by Adams State Athletic Director Katelyn Smith this spring.
According to a statement released by Adams State, Sand posted a 44-20 combined record while winning the 184-pound title at the 2009 NCAA Division II National Championship in Houston, Texas. He was also named as the state’s Collegiate Wrestler of the Year by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame-Colorado Chapter for that season that saw him go 23-10 while also winning the RMAC/NCAA West Region title.
Women’s wrestling has exploded across the country. More than 60 NCAA universities now offer the sport, including several in Colorado and inside the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference such as Colorado Mesa University and Chadron State College. The sport is now considered an “emerging sport” within the NCAA.
The University of Iowa made a mark becoming the first “Power Five” school to add women’s wrestling as a sport when the Hawkeyes began competing last year.
“I think the growth of the sport is really exciting,” Goins said. “And more and more colleges are really starting to recognize that.”
Goins joined the Bloomfield girls wrestling program as a junior, compiling a record of 23-5 and finishing second in the Class 4A state tournament at the 165-pound weight class, losing the championship bout to Alexa Valdez of Cibola.
“The experience of being a part of the team has meant a lot to me,” Goins said about the Bloomfield wrestling team. “The coaches, my teammates, all of them have worked so hard and we’re really proud of the work we did.”
Adams State Grizzlies athletic teams compete in Division II of the NCAA and are a part of the RMAC, which is comprised of 15 schools including Fort Lewis College, New Mexico Highlands and Colorado Mesa University.
Before she finishes her senior year and makes plans to head to Adams State, Goins has one more piece of business to finish, and that’s to help lead the Bobcats deep into the state softball tournament.
Bloomfield advanced to the second round of the tournament after eliminating Los Alamos in the play-in game last weekend. The Bobcats will be on the field Thursday at 9 a.m. to face fourth-seeded St. Pius.
“Beating the fifth-seeded team in the state was really exciting, and now we’ll just see what happens.”