Collins, a 160-pound senior, heads into Saturday's City League wrestling meet with a 32-4 record, his best career record. One of his losses came at 171 pounds.
How did you get into wrestling?
"My dad (Darnell) wrestled. He was pretty good. His first year he wrestled at 189 and then he was at heavyweight at Wichita West. I wanted to start wrestling when I was young, but I couldn't start until eighth grade because we had financial problems."
Does your dad wrestle with you?
"My dad messes around with me all the time, showing me new moves, telling me things that I should work on. We used to wrestle in the living room, but we recently bought a mat, so we work on the mat. It's in the garage.... But we work on different types of setups, like drags, working on different angles, shooting. He's still more of a heavyweight; he pushes me as much as he can. He doesn't use his advantage because he's way heavier. Other times I wrestle with my little brother (Kalin), who's 14."
So when you finally started wrestling in eighth grade, were you excited?
"I was ready for it, but since it was my first year and I was kind of late in it, I wasn't as good as I wanted to be.... I wasn't that good. I was what they call a fish. It's the first-year wrestler; people know that they'll probably pin you in the first period."
How have you improved?
"I'm kind of being smarter about all my matches, staying in good position. And it does help to be a little stronger than everybody.... There's just a lot more stuff you can learn, different moves."
You said you spend a lot of time with your brother and sister, Deja (5). What do you guys usually do?
"We watch my sister's shows all the time. Most of the time I used to have to watch Dora the Explorer, but now we have SpongeBob. She loves SpongeBob.... They come to all my matches. My little sister especially (cheers). She's just always yelling, 'go D.J.! Shoot, shoot!' I hear her sometimes when I'm wrestling."