New girls wrestling team is set for inaugural season


For senior Jayla Williams, her childhood fantasy of becoming a girls wrestler had never been a feasible opportunity, until last year.

“When I was younger my dad and I would always wrestle, so the interest in the sport has always been there,” Jayla said. “Yet, I never dreamed that I would actually get a chance to wrestle on a team.”

Girls wrestling is one of the fastest growing girls sports in America. Jayla saw this as an opportunity to fulfill her dream, so she brought up the prospect to current wrestling coach Brad Anderson to see if she could make this idea a reality. Seeing the positive impact that a team like this could have on the environment at school, Coach Anderson was fully supportive. He decided he would help her launch a campaign to make it happen.

 “When I asked Brad, he was super supportive about it,” Jayla said, “and we were finally able to get it going this winter.”

Along with Jayla, there are five other girls that compete as a part of the unit. One of the other wrestlers is sophomore Rachel Schenck, who is just as new to the sport as Jayla is. Rachel and Jayla both follow very similar paths in the sense that they both don’t participate in high-contact sports. Jayla participates in swimming and crew, while Rachel competes in swimming and water polo. They have both entered the new world of wrestling not knowing what to expect but are ready for whatever challenge comes their way.

“I like being challenged, and wrestling is definitely a challenge,” Rachel said. “It is very intense, but I love learning new things every day, and I thought that this would be a good option in terms of trying something new.”

Despite what they may have thought, the word intense doesn’t even begin to describe what the wrestling team goes through. They train five to six times per week, and each training is two and a half hours long.

“I knew coming into [the season] that it would be a challenge,” Jayla said with a laugh. “But it has made me a lot stronger mentally and physically throughout time.”

The new girls team is considered its own team, but they do practice, train, and compete alongside the guys team.

You may think that combining the girls with the guys would be a struggle at first, but they have come together and bonded as a team very well over the past few weeks.

“It has really been a lot of fun to see the guys and the girls team come together and coalesce very well, if not better than what I have seen on previous teams,” Anderson said. “We have a very unique and special group of kids, and I think I am seeing a very positive makeup develop.”

The girls team will be competing only against other girls teams from around the state. They come into the program not knowing much but are eager to learn. As of now, they are looking forward to a very eventful season as a successful beginning to this newly-founded program.

“I think they’re going to do great things, and they will be able to handle any of the obstacles that may come their way as first-year wrestlers,” Anderson said. “They are learning everything so fast that I think they will do very well as the season progresses. I really think that towards the end of this season you will see the girls getting very competitive with their opponents.”