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The Student News Site of Bishop Miege

Bishop Miege Press

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Bishop Miege Press

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Pin To Win: Girls wrestling grows as a sport across country

Won+by+a+pin%2C+sophomore+Nancy+Baca+Olivas+plays+Blue+Valley+West+opponent%0Aafter+only+joining+the+team+this+year.+Along+with+the+sense+of+community%2C+Baca+Olivas+said+she+loves+the%0Away+the+sport+grows+her+mindset+and+makes+her+mentally+and+physically+strong+%7C+EVIE+MCBRIDE
Evie McBride
Won by a pin, sophomore Nancy Baca Olivas plays Blue Valley West opponent after only joining the team this year. Along with the sense of community, Baca Olivas said she loves the way the sport grows her mindset and makes her mentally and physically strong | EVIE MCBRIDE

The girls wrestling team has more than doubled from a group of three to eight. Bringing home first place at the Eastern Kansas League Wrestling tournament, students like sophomore Molly Benes set an example for girls across the country.

According to FloWrestling, high school wrestling grew 16% in participation from 2021 to 2022. Each contributing high school has seen double-digit percent increases in the last eight years.

“It’s grown a lot and I think that it’s getting bigger around America,” sophomore Meg Joseph said. “Our team will probably grow in numbers in the next coming years as we recruit more people.”

With a 55% growth according to FloWrestling, high school girls teams are being advertised more, as wrestling gains appreciation as a unique sport in that it can look very different between boys and girls teams.

“We’re all still learning, whereas the boys are very ‘get to work,’ and the girls I feel like we’re more close- knit and worried about getting the technique down instead of beating up our partners,” Joseph said.

Joseph said she the team benefits from its size as members can focus on strategy and have efficient practices.

“The girls can get more attention from being a small team, and we can work on our technique so much more because there’s multiple coaches working around the three to four groups of girls,” Joseph said.

According to Joseph, although wrestling is not advertised as significantly as other sports, it is equally as difficult.

“It’s mentally straining,” Joseph said. “It takes a lot of physical as well as mental work. If you’re not mentally in the right place, you’re not going to wrestle well.”

One commonality that all sports share is the idea that mindset is key, specifically in wrestling.

“It’s all up to you whether or not you win so you have to be right in the mindset and think to yourself, ‘I’m gonna win this no matter what’ and you have to be able to fully focus on yourself,” Joseph said.

Team manager sophomore Nadia Henre said this expansion has made for a close-knit team where they can each push each other to do their best.

“I think we’ve had a lot of girls join because the people that did it last year really encouraged people to join,” Henre said. “They really showed that it was a good sport and not what everybody else says it is.”

Students such as sophomores Addison Bolte, Molly Benes, Meg Joseph and junior Naomi Harris-Hyche have placed in the top three almost every weekend. At regionals Harris-Hyche became the first Miege girl to ever advance to state.

“Everybody was so excited like the coach,” Harris-Hyche said. “He was trying so hard not to jump on everything, and I was just about to pass out from excitement.”

According to Joseph, practice begins with a discussion where the boys and girls teams receive their announcements.

“If it is an all-girls practice, we go in and do a ‘walk and roll’ and then we warm up,” Joseph said. “We do some shots and sprawls and then we get into technique so we work for about 30-40 minutes and then the last 15-20 minutes is conditioning.”

Although conditioning and cardio-based practices look different from other sports, they have proven to be effective.

“They put a lot of pressure on us to be good in the room for practice and to get better so we can go out and perform well,” Joseph said. “I think it’s good for real life because I was able to push myself to do things that I don’t really want to do.”

“’Power-hour’ days are what we call our hour-long practice days,” Joseph said. “We go really hard for an hour, then we go home. We are supposed to eat really light that night and go to bed early so that we can wake up ready for the next morning.”

As a small team, tournaments can be a strong bonding experience for the athletes. Joseph recalls her favorite team memory to
be her first tournament her freshman year.

“The team did better than everyone expected,” Joseph said “Everyone got a win and everyone was able to experience what a
real match was with the whole team together.”

As girls wrestling increases across the country, competition in matches and tournaments increases as well. Head coach Ryan Wrigley inspired the growing interest in girls wrestling throughout the school.

“Girls all around America are joining wrestling,” Joseph said. “Teams this year are so much bigger, and it’s growing in popularity as well as the advertisement around the schools.”

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Bella Dessert, Copy Editor
Evie McBride, Staff Writer

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