Girls’ wrestling breaks the gender stereotype


Photo by Tim Buckley and Hailey Paisker huybhvfcgdxsa';.lknjh fdsal;''?>

RB wrestlers from (l. to r. standing) Leila Garcia, Daniela Quiroga, Lauren Aprim. Anna O’Keefe (Being lift)

Modear Bumrungkwaen and Nyzeth Flecha

The RB Girls’ Wrestling season ended on January 22, 2018. The team consists of four female members: freshmen Leila Garcia, Anna O’Keefe, Lauren Aprim, and sophomore Daniela Quiroga.

“The girls worked really hard through the season,” said Coach Mario Shermack, head wrestling coach for the freshman team and RB science teacher.  Shermack has been coaching wrestling at RB for three years.

The wrestlers practice six days a week for two and half hours after school. They start practice with a dodgeball game, while the people who don’t want to play dodgeball are required to stretch.

“It was really fun, but it was scary,” said freshman Leila Garcia.

This is Garcia’s first year being part of the wrestling program at RB. Garcia enjoyed the season and plans to continue wrestling through senior year.

“The team was like a family. You get hyped before and after practice. I tried my best but I didn’t win all of my matches. The match that I was most proud of was my first match where I won by (1-0) and it was double overtime,” said Garcia.

The team took third place at the Oak Park Invitational out of 16 challenging teams.

This is also O’Keefe’s first year of wrestling. O’Keefe worked hard throughout the season and is the only freshman who did not miss a single practice all season.

“We go over the technique during practice to make sure we’re doing it right,” said O’Keefe.

Many people think that wrestling is a masculine sport, but female participation is actually increasing.

“If you look around the country, wrestling is expanding. There are more female wrestlers, female wrestlers are getting scholarships,” said Shermack.

In wrestling, not everyone on the team gets to compete in a match. It is an individual sport.

O’Keefe competed in eight matches this season.

“The match I am most proud of was my first match. I won against a varsity girl,” said O’Keefe.

Sophomore Daniela Quiroga is also part of the team. This is her first year as an RB wrestler and she worked very hard to make it a good season.   

“There was one meet at home when I was the last match of the night and was extremely nervous beforehand, but I ended up winning by a pin and I could hear my team cheering me on and congratulating me. It was almost euphoric and it brought me so much joy to be a wrestler,” said Quiroga.

The girls worked hard and encouraged each other throughout. There were no varsity female players that competed on the team this season.

“Girls should join wrestling because it is a good experience,” said Garcia.

The RB wrestling program is encouraging more girls to participate in this sport.

“We would like to encourage the girls to come out, it’s not just a boy sport. It’s a great sport for anyone who’s looking for a challenge. Since the beginning of the season, they had a tremendous growth. They became better wrestlers, tougher mentally, and stronger,” said Shermack.