Hannah Becker finds love in wrestling while making history


Wrestling has always been viewed as a sport only for boys, but this year, when FHC introduced a girls wrestling program, everything changed. Now, eight girls make up the biggest girls wrestling team in the state, wrestling side by side with the boys in the same room. Out of those eight girls, junior Hannah Becker makes history with her team right beside her.

“We didn’t really know how the guys were going to react to [us],” Hannah said. “Some of them were all for it, but some of them weren’t. Once the season got going, I think they became more used to it, and once the girls started wrestling, the guys were okay with it.”

Having the boys and girls wrestling in the same room is a monumental step towards that, but to have the boys and girls wrestling each other puts a whole new perspective on the physical and once sexist sport.

“[Wrestling the boys] actually helped us a lot I think because it gives us the sense of ‘wrestling,’” Hannah said. “We haven’t really scored against [the boys], but I know some of [the girls] give them a run for their money, which is really cool to watch.”

Not only was practicing with guys different for the team, but the sport as a whole was different as well. Most of the girls had never watched wrestling or dreamed of wrestling on their own. Luckily for Hannah, she had a background in jiu-jitsu, which gave her a step ahead.

“You can’t really judge if you’re going to like it or not if you haven’t seen it,” Hannah said. “All the girls [had no experience] except me. Going into the beginning of the season, the team just felt clueless, but [we] noticed as practices went on that we actually started to build skills.”

As the season progressed, Hannah and the team worked toward going to the first ever Michigan Girls Wrestling State Championship, hoping to considerably score and make a statement.

Although Hannah took a tough fall in the first round of the championship with a sprained ankle, that did not stop her dreams.

“I want to win states; that’s my goal,” Hannah said. “We had four people place from our team, which I thought was really amazing, because we are first-year wrestlers, so it’s not necessarily something you see all the time.”

Not only was this a new sport for Hannah, but it was completely different from the sport she was previously playing: soccer.

“You cannot compare [soccer and wrestling],” said Hannah. “I don’t think there is any sport that you can compare to wrestling [to] just because it is so different from everything.”

Due to the drastic differences between sports, Hannah has been able to learn various valuable lessons that she hadn’t learned before.

“The discipline is hands-down the biggest thing [I’ve learned],” Hannah said. “[In] some sports, you get tired and get a drink, but with wrestling, you go hard for an hour, maybe get a three-minute water break, then you’re back at it again for another hour.

“It’s that mental part of it, too,” Hannah said. “You got to get through it and give it your all.”

Even though Hannah went into wrestling with little knowledge, she grew up with a passion for the sport and started wrestling in hopes of making her father proud.

“My dad wrestled when he was four years old and throughout high school and college,” said Hannah. “It’s always been something I have been interested in. It was really nice having my dad there, so I can share part of what he loves to do with something I love to do.”