The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

Sizing up the Singlet

by Emily Moore | Staff Writer

I walk into the team room every morning with a sense of expectation: aware of the foreboding smell of sweat, and unexpectedly, a sense of longing. I want to be a part of something no girl at Johnson currently is. I want to become a girl wrestler.

Most people view wrestling as a strictly- and intensely- masculine sport. Introducing girls to this sport isn’t an easy task, especially when there are no others to practice with. There are a number of girl wrestlers present at local wrestling tournaments, yet there hasn’t been a very strong attraction in this realm of athletics at our school. If I decide to make Johnson history, I will be alone in doing so. At least, for now.

A lot of things crossed my mind in making this decision. I worried about my ability to shift from a couch potato lifestyle to a highly active one. I worried about having to constantly watch my weight and keep it within a certain limit. I wondered how the other wrestlers, who weren’t exactly excited about my turn as team manager, would treat me and respond to this decision when I joined them on the mat. I wondered if I’ll get the hang of the sport quickly, or have to practice a lot to master the finer points of  the takedown, the half-nelson, and- gulp– the high crotch.

When I first contemplated wrestling, I had seen little of the sport. It seemed to me like a bunch of repetition and exercise with little more to it. Now, I realize a huge amount of skill and dedication is required to become even a mediocre wrestler. It demands extensive knowledge of the moves, and a focus that keeps your mind on the mat. If the wrestler’s concentration falters, even for a moment, the opponent could get in end the match in seconds. This won’t be something I can do halfway. The team will require every ounce of my energy and enthusiasm, as difficult as things may become.

Of course, not everyone understands my decision. When I started to spread the news, my parents looked at me like I was crazy, my friends laughed, and others just flat-out didn’t believe me. This lack of support also affects my decision. But I’ve realized that my desire to do this outweighs any fears, wonders or doubts I’ll ever have. In the end, I just want to wrestle.

I was more than a little hesitant when it came down to asking Coaches Miguel Avila and Lee Miller. Coach Avila’s response I anticipated; amused, but encouraging. He told me I was welcome to the team so long as I was truly committed. On the other hand, Coach Miller surprised me. I was going into it with his “no” already ringing in my ears. On the contrary, Miller told me that I was welcome to wrestle, but I needed to wait until next year’s season to train and learn what I was doing in the meantime. When these words left his lips, I was ecstatic. I was in.

So look for me on the mat a year from now. You should be able to pick me out: I’m the girl.


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  • L

    Lauren JAug 26, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    It’s cool that you’re not holding back from what you desire and don’t care what anybody thinks about you! I find this encouraging and will think of you next time this happens to me (:

    Reply
  • D

    DaisyMar 22, 2011 at 2:33 am

    This is very well written and encouraging. Through this you are reaching out to others who want to get envolved but are scared, you are a true leader. Keep it up girlie:)

    Reply
  • M

    Melissa SmithJan 27, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    you go girrrrrrl 😉 well written, i liked it!

    Reply
  • M

    Ms. SalazarJan 12, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Hi Emily,
    I am a physics teacher here and I would love for you to come talk to me about wrestling. I wrestled in high school and helped start the team there. I have also talked with Coach Miller (however it has been a while and I will talk with him as next year approaches) about helping coach any girls wanting to wrestle. I’m in room F218 if you want to stop by.

    Ms. Salazar

    Reply
  • C

    caitlinDec 8, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    GO EMILY!!!

    Reply
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Sizing up the Singlet