Girls Wrestling Begins at High Schools

High school girls all over the state are making wrestling history.

The inaugural season of sanctioned girls wrestling in Iowa started this month and the first competition in the state is on Monday.

The Iowa High School Girls Athletic Union in January made girls wrestling the 11th sanctioned high school female sport in Iowa.

High school girls have been wrestling in Iowa for decades, and advocates have been pushing to allow girls their own teams and seasons for years. In this first year, more than 100 schools in the state are offering girls’ wrestling programs.

In the Sioux City Community School District, around 50 girls will participate this season. North High School has around 15, East High has around 15 and West High has around 20 female student-athletes participating. Some have wrestled in the past, while others are just starting.

Molly Sek, a junior at North, has been wrestling since eighth grade. She said it is exciting for girls to have their own wrestling teams and own events to participate and grow in.

She said there is a lot of talent in the district as well as in the state, and she is excited to see it throughout the season. She believes it’s important to have a separate girls’ team so girls can have a space to represent themselves and women in the sport, rather than from the sidelines.

“Being known as a male-dominated sport, now we have females who are going out and setting a different bar and a different standard and proving that we’re just as strong as the other competition, other men,” Sek said.

Idella Edwards is a senior at North and has been wrestling for three years. She started wrestling because she wanted to participate in school activities and be challenged. She said it is difficult to wrestle against boys because, in her experience, boys in her same weight class are stronger.

“Wrestling girls makes it more even for girls to do well instead of just getting pummeled by the guys,” she said. “I think it’s important because then it builds confidence in the sport.”

Trever Case has been coaching wrestling for 25 years and is coaching the North High School team. Practice officially started on Oct. 31 statewide and Case said it has been fun to see the girls work hard and learn.

Read the entire story by the Sioux City Journal’s Caitlin Yamada here.