Girls Wrestling Prepares for First Meet

The first girls wrestling team has their first meet on Dec. 12 and plan to take on the challenge.


Andrew Houmes

Female wrestlers practice as they prepare for their first match on Dec. 12

The girls wrestling team takes on Seckman high school Dec. 12. This will be the team’s first match in MSHSAA history. Seckman, on the other hand, has competed in two matches prior to this one, losing both. Despite the Seckman Jaguar’s losses so far in the season, they finished last year with a record of 5-3. 

This historically good team will be the first opponent the Spartan females’ take on in a MSHSAA sanctioned match. 

Prior to this match, they have spent long hours at practices preparing for these meets. Practicing Monday to Saturday, the girls learned and perfected their forms and skills. Junior Paige Vandaele recalls how important practices were to performing well.

“We practiced a lot, and we went over drills over and over and over again,” Vandaele said. “We got specific drills that, if we got them perfect, we knew we could use in our matches and be successful with them.”

With this being the first ever all-female wrestling team at FHC, a majority of the team had no prior wrestling experience. Earlier practices were very fundamentally-oriented. Junior Emily Crass, although no longer able to participate due to injury, took part in a large majority of the pre-season practices. 

“Since all the girls are pretty much beginners, we were practicing with the freshmen, and they were just teaching us… how to take down people,” Crass said. “It was like the bare-minimum, basic kind of stuff.”

Not only did the ladies have to learn a new sport, but also realize that they could not approach it in the same ways they do others. For Vandaele, who also plays soccer, her main issue is transitioning from a team mentality to an individual one, while still supporting her comrades.

“Wrestling’s definitely more individual, I would say. And so, learning more individual-type stuff is definitely way different than working as a team,” Vandaele said. “[I’m looking forward to knowing] and figuring out how I can individually improve myself, then helping my team in the process.”

Although the sport is much more individual, freshman Sophia Miller does not feel like everyone is only in it for themselves.

“ I love the people, and it’s just like a big family,” Miller said.

The mental challenge, on top of the physical, is another aspect of wrestling that makes it so unique to other sports. One of the biggest issues Crass found was having the self-discipline to gain and lose weight rapidly.

“For me, it’s hard to lose weight anyways- and it was more like not eating and working out a bunch, and that still wasn’t working,” Crass said.

For updates on the girls wrestling match tomorrow, follow the FHC Activities Director here.