Focused, determined, and inspiring are only a few words that begin to describe our Athlete of the Issue. Whether she’s wrestling in the gym, leading Student Council, or looking after her proctees on Johnson I, Angela Osei-Ampadu ’21 is a highly respected and well-loved member of the Deerfield community.
Osei-Ampadu was first introduced to the Deerfield wrestling team during a Sunday sit-down her ninth-grade year. She found herself particularly captivated by the team’s willingness to accept students from all backgrounds and levels of wrestling experience.
“I think that diversity is very important. You look at my friends, they’re from all different types of races, backgrounds, and have various interests. Take the wrestling team, too. From me being the only girl on the team my freshman year, to now having nine girls and one non-binary person is an incredible sign of progress,” Osei-Ampadu said.
Despite being the only female member of the team during her first year, Osei-Ampadu never felt excluded by her male peers, but instead felt empowered as the only girl on the mat. Indeed, the resilience and positivity she has displayed throughout the years have propelled her to success. Her sophomore year, she placed 2nd at Phillips Academy Andover New England Girls’ Wrestling Tournament in the 113 lb. weight class. Her junior year, she placed 2nd in the same tournament, competing in the 117 lb. weight class. Her achievements did not stop there. In February 2020, Osei-Ampadu won the first ever official New England Girls’ Wrestling Championship in the 121 lb. weight class.
Osei-Ampadu, while disappointed in the cancellation of interscholastic wrestling this year, also expressed her determination to improve even with a modified season. She said, “This is just another test for Deerfield wrestling: ‘Are you still motivated to work your hardest every day, despite having no meets? How badly do you want to get better?’”
Devin Trice ‘21, Osei-Ampadu’s longtime friend, commented on the way this perseverance enriches the lives of others around her. “I am constantly in awe of her accomplishments and her ability to continuously raise the bar for not only girls at Deerfield, but everywhere. She is a literal Superwoman,” said Trice.
After years of dedication and hard work to improve her skills, Osei-Ampadu has been given the chance to wrestle at the Division I level next year for Brown University. She hopes to extend her impact in the wrestling world, such as lobbying for more Division I wrestling programs in universities and potentially creating a women’s wrestling club at Brown.
Varsity Wrestling Head Coach Dr. Houston, holds Osei-Ampadu in the highest regard. He said, “For two years as captain, Angie has epitomized and personified the ideals of Deerfield wrestling: intensity, intelligence, and integrity. She leads with élan, inspiring confidence and compassion; she teaches with absolute focus and authority; she maintains a culture of compassion and inclusivity. Angie’s leadership has been transformative, and it will long be remembered!”