Girls prepare for first season with own wrestling team


Destiny Givens

Last year, then-freshman Joy Cantu works on a drill with the wrestling team. Now she will be helping other girls launch their own team.

The addition of girls wrestling as a sport had been rumored heavily up until this year where it has finally been added as an upcoming sport for the winter. 

This brings in new opportunities for girls to try a sport that is most likely foreign to them. For some students, like Senior Kaliyah Brown, this is an opportunity to try out something that they’ve been interested in previously.

 “My freshman year I was a wrestling manager and I always thought that it was really cool, so when I heard they were starting a girls wrestling team I knew I had to do it before I couldn’t do it anymore,” Brown said.

Girls wrestling is an “emerging” sport, meaning there is a limited season and no postseason tournament until more schools participate. Other area schools with teams include, Hobart, Crown Point and Portage. There are currently seven girls on the MHS team.

Sophomore Joy Cantu, who wrestled on the boys team last year as a freshman, is an experienced wrestler that could help other girls learn the sport and motivate them. 

Brown has found Cantu’s experience and leadership helpful in growing her interest in the sport. 

“She’s like one of my best friends on the team now because she’s also there to help and she keeps us motivated to want to come back,” Brown said. 

Cantu’s advice for girls who are looking to join is to stay motivated. 

“Stay with it, it’s gonna get hard, but it won’t stay that way,” she said.

Cantu has been wrestling for the majority of her life and is fond of the new addition of girls wrestling.

“I think it’s really good for the sport. Once it starts I think it’ll be a really good addition for the team,” she said.

Cantu will continue to compete in boys wrestling as well as girls wrestling for the 2022-23 season.

“This year it’s an emerging sport so I can wrestle with both sometimes. Since I’m going to be with the boys, I’m only going to do a couple of girls tournaments,” Cantu said. 

Brown admitted to being nervous as she practices for the season. 

“Honestly, it’s really nerve-wracking because it just takes so much energy and a lot of the time it’s just really hard, but it’s also kind of rewarding so I’m also excited to see if all my hard work paid off.”