The wrestling season, which officially began on November 4, has shown a steady growth in the number of female wrestlers joining the notably male-dominated sport. This has led to the addition of more tournaments and opportunities for girls’ competitions.
According to head coach Nikko Triggas, the team currently has 35 athletes on the roster: 27 boys and 8 girls. While 8 may seem like a small number, it shows significant growth in the involvement of girls in the wrestling community.
“There were at least 6 or 8 girls at our 1st practice, which is actually more than there has been in the past 2 years. Before, when I 1st joined, it was just me and like 2 other girls, and now there’s like 8 which is crazy,” said 3 year veteran junior Sarah Gordon. “I’m super happy that there seems to be a growing interest in wrestling for girls.”
According to Triggas, women’s wrestling is the fastest growing sport for youth. “California, I think, is on the leading edge of that, so we’ve now got our own girl tournaments, our own NCS [North Coast Section competition], our own girls’ State [Championships],” he said. “The competition level is very, very high when it comes to girls’ wrestling in California.”
“People are just trying to get more girls to wrestle at a young age,” added Gordon. “Like soccer, there’s pee-wee soccer, so why aren’t there more programs for wrestling for young girls? So they’re just trying to advertise it more.”
According to Gordon, girls should join wrestling because “it’s a really good sport if you want to get in shape and just get ripped honestly; it’s really good for that and for training yourself to be more powerful.”
According to senior Arine Kim, the limited amount of competition for girls in the past was “frustrating” and the qualifications for large tournaments were often “unrealistic expectations.”
However, according to Triggas, “The girls have just as much of a chance as the guys do this year [at going to State]. Its very, very even when it comes to qualifications for State, and we’ve definitely got some girls that could scrap and qualify for State this year. We’re excited.”
The wrestling team has not had a state finalist since Triggas himself in 2007.
Both Gordon and Kim believe that seniors Noah Hamann and Adrian Bautista may be able to change that. They “definitely have a good chance of going to State, for sure NCS but maybe State too,” said Kim.
“We’ve got some great seniors, some great freshmen coming out for the team, and some sophomores that we’re really excited about, so it’s going to be a great season. We’re excited for the wrestlers to show what they got this year and go on to NCS,” said Triggas.
The 1st competition of the season will be a novice tournament on December 6, which will “give 1st year wrestlers a taste of what competing in wrestling is,” according to Triggas.