Michigan: The State of Girls Wrestling

Girls Wrestling is now a sanctioned sport in Michigan high schools
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 5:51 PM EST
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HOLT, Mich. (WILX) - In 1990, there were only 112 female wrestlers across the country. Now, that number has increased to over 31,000.

At the high school level, wrestling is one of the fastest growing sports.

That’s thanks to girls.

Girls wrestling was recognized this year as a sanctioned sport by the Michigan High School Athletic Association.

“This is a male dominated sport. I love being a part of it,” said Nora Middlin, a junior on the Holt Girls Wrestling team.

“I think this year it’s just caught on,” said head coach Stan Granger. “I mean I had no idea we were gonna have 11, 12 and it looks like we may have a couple more coming out.”

Friday, Holt hosted an all-girls meet with Fowlerville and Olivet, putting on showcase for what girls wrestling is all about.

“Wrestling is good for everybody and it’s just nice that the girls are finally getting able to get in the door,” said Fowlerville Wrestling head coach Dan Coon. “When you start talking about things that you did back in high school 10 15 years ago, I’m sure this is gonna be the event that’s going to be in their memories for a long time.”

I think it’s really awesome,” said Middlin. “I think that it’s really good that we have a girl’s team that is willing to work that is willing to put in like 110% all the time, even when we’re like, you know on the side it’s puking.

The Holt girls wrestling team is learning constantly.

“I didn’t realize just like how hard it would be and how aggressive it is because it’s a contact sport,” said senior Sydnie Klauza. “So it’s really hard on your body.”

Opening wrestling to girls allows them to grow with their teammates and learn something about themselves too.

“There are days where I will be in tears because I feel like I’ve done nothing,” said Middlin, “and then two minutes later, I’ll look in the mirror and flex and I’ll be like, ‘oh my gosh. This is awesome. Like I have muscles now,’ and it feels great. It’s a mental roller coaster sometimes but that roller coaster is worth it.”

The wrestling team tells News 10 that they’re hoping to grow the sport, so as to add more matches and rounds during the MHSAA State Tournament.

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