Females in Wrestling

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Matt Wax

The wrestling team practicing against each other in preparations for the season.

Rhian Evans, Writer

Wrestling is a popular high school winter sport.  While typically it is seen as a boys sport, it is gaining growth with girls in high school.  Even at Oakdale, Freshman Natalia Alvarado is the first girl on the wrestling team in 4 years.  

 

Alvarado commented on the dynamics saying, “At first, everyone was very hesitant,” and she goes on to say that no one knew how to handle her, “But as the week went on, we got more comfortable with each other, and now it’s like I’m one of the boys.”

 

One thing is clear though, the team won’t be going easy on Alvarado just because she’s a girl.  “They’re not going to slow down because you’re a girl; you either do it or you don’t,” she explains. 

 

She also explains that the team’s reaction was, “if you want to be on this team you have to keep up, because if you’re a wimp in practice then your a wimp at the meet.”  Alvarado also explains that the team has this mentality with everyone, not just her.

 

Matt Wax has been coaching wrestling at Oakdale for four years.  Even though this is the first time he’s coached a girl at Oakdale, he has wrestled with girls when he was in high school.  

 

Wax notes the growth of female wrestling, “This is the second or third year of doing a girls state tournament, and this year it’s alongside the boys, so they’re sharing the same stage.”  

 

It can be hard wrestling as a girl on a boys team because there might not always be people that match their weight class, “but it can happen to anybody too,” Alvarado adds.  

 

She continues, “There’s been cases where people have forfeited because it’s a girl… they don’t want to lose to a girl because they think it’s humiliating, but it looks stronger when they don’t [forfeit] because it’s like, ‘I’m not scared to lose to a girl’ that type of mentality is a good one to have.”

 

Some schools, such as Severna Park and Northeast High School in Maryland, have started all girl’s wrestling team.  When the idea was brought up to Wax about an Oakdale all girls team he responded, “probably not”. Part of the reason for this is there isn’t enough interest at this point in time.  

 

Wax also explains, “once [girls] get past high school, the style of wrestling is different, more like olympic style, so there would have to be enough people in place to teach the girls that style, and I don’t think there’s enough funding for that to happen.”

 

Wrestling is becoming more and more popular with girls.  Alvarado helps pave the way for normalizing female wrestlers. Get a chance to see her and her  the rest of the team hopefully improve to 4-1 as they compete in their first match of the new year at C.M. Wright High School on January third at four.