This winter, the boys won’t be the only ones on the wrestling mats.
After two years of contemplating starting a girls’ wrestling team, wrestling coaches Jason Brown and Louis Kuzdas decided to take the leap and start a girls’ team.
The idea of girls’ wrestling at LPHS peaked when Mara Eason, female wrestler from the Class of 2016, shined for all four years as the only girl on the team who often wrestled boys. After her success story, the program decided to open the opportunity for other girls.
“It is a growing sport in Indiana, and we believe it is on the horizon for the IHSAA to sanction girls wrestling as a recognized sport,” Brown said.
Both programs will be similar in how the athletes are taught and trained. The definitive difference between boys and girls’ teams will be the opportunity for females to compete in girls-only tournaments. They can still participate in tournaments with boys if they choose, but that is an option depending on comfort level and experience. They can also compete to earn a varsity letter.
At the moment, La Porte Wrestling program has half a dozen girls on the roster, but they are hoping for it to grow as word gets around about the new opportunity.
“It would be an honor to be on the first girls’ wrestling team since it has been an all-boys sport so far,” Alyvia Ohime, sophomore wrestler, said.
The main goals for this year are to create a great experience for the girls involved and to establish a competitive schedule that will allow girls to wrestle in girl’s tournaments and the girl’s state championships, which is sponsored by the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association (IHSWCA).
Any Slicer girl interested in joining the program can stop and see Mr. Brown in room 1.37.