‘We are strong’: Girls find place on the mat

Raegan Rains, Reporter

In recent years, interest in girl’s wrestling has risen and now across some 32 states, separate girl’s leagues have been sanctioned. In May of 2019, the NSAA voted unanimously to sanction girl’s wrestling in high school’s across Nebraska.

Now, girls are able to pave the way into a historically male-dominated sport, finding new places for themselves in the world and proving all of the nay-sayers wrong.

“It just shows, like, we can have the same determination,” senior wrestler Audrey Bishop said. “It shows that women are strong, and, like, we’re a little crazy too.”

Before having a league of their own, wrestling was co-ed at the high school level. This means that boys and girls wrestled with each other. Despite this opportunity, not many girls were drawn to playing with the boys and the ones who did participate were left majorly outnumbered by their male counterparts.

“They didn’t want to play with the weak girls who ‘wouldn’t give them a challenge or anything’,” junior wrestler Jay Knight said.  “In middle school, I was on the boys team because there was no girls team. It was me and Naveah [Seward], the only other girl on the team at the time. We always ended up partnered with each other because nobody else would partner with us.”

Jay said that now that girls can wrestle in their own leagues, it’s given girls more confidence to strike out into the world with more fierceness.

“It makes me feel more powerful, I guess you could say,” sophomore wrestler Aniya Williams said. “Because, you know, people think that only males can do this type of stuff.”

This is a win that reverberates throughout the community.

“It’s just kind of, like, paving the way there and I think it’s encouraging to a lot of people even if they don’t want to wrestle,” Bishop said. “It shows you can do things you don’t think you can do.”

If you would like to catch these wrestlers in action, here are some of their upcoming events: Dec. 17, 10:00 a.m. at Platteview; Dec. 20, 7:00 p.m. at Millard North High School; Jan. 3, 5:00 p.m. at Waverly High School; and Jan. 6, TBD at Central Community College.