The Possibility of Girls’ Wrestling Excites Central Students


Danae Wnuk


Abby Young, Staff Writer

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Wrestling is a sport that has been in schools for years with little question. However, recently, there has been one question looming over the school: what about girls’ wrestling? Central has had a boys wrestling team for a while, but the girls have been left out. Other schools offer the sport for both genders, and now Central is considering the same thing.

English teacher and lead coach of the wrestling team, Mr. Ryan Mallory, supports the idea of having a girls’ wrestling team and held a meeting Friday, November 22, for all the girls interested. Though the sport is not extremely popular for girls in Chattanooga, it is quite popular in Sequatchie County and schools in Knoxville and Nashville. Mallory hopes to have the same success.

“I have been thinking about a girls’ wrestling team for several years now. The sport is growing exponentially nationwide, and we need to get on the band wagon,” stated Mallory.

Foreign exchange student, Anna Markström, is also excited for this opportunity. From Sweden, she is ready to try new things, like participating in the school’s bowling team. Though she attended the meeting and asked about girls’ wrestling previously, she has her reservations about the whole thing.

“I don’t know if I want to do it. I am kind of scared to face other girls like that. However, bowling is over soon, and I want to do something else,” Markström said.

Mallory is hoping to keep the boys and girls connected and treat them equally while still respecting gender. The team will be one program, but compete separately.

“Boys and girls will practice at the same time; they will do the same drills, they will learn the same moves. We’ll be respectful of gender, but anyone who comes into the room is a wrestler first, and we’ll train everyone like wrestlers,” Mallory said.

There will be 11 weight classes for the girls, ranging from 103 pounds to 215 pounds. There is only one girl required to start on the team, but Mallory wishes to expand the number of both the girls and boys in the program.

“The participation numbers in boys wrestling have been in steady decline for many years now, and the future of our sport is in real danger. We need girls to survive. Much like girls saved soccer in the ’90s, girls will save wrestling in the 21st Century. The girls’ skill level has really increased in recent years, and programs have exploded in numbers. I’m hoping that there is interest here at Central, and that we’ll get both more girls and boys to join the wrestling team,” Mallory stated.

He is eager to expand his team in any way possible.

“Girls’ wrestling should have always been a thing, but it is good that this is happening. I’m from Sweden, and people do not care if you’re a boy or a girl,” Markström concluded.

Students interested in joining the girls’ wrestling team can sign up in the office or visit Mr. Mallory in B-pod.

Readers can view the latest sports updates on the sports center page. This is where schedules, scores, and rosters will be posted.