Burke’s First Girl’s Wrestling Season


Coach Parker

On Nov. 15, girl’s wrestling had their first practice of the winter season.

The 2021-2022 winter sports season will be the first time in history that girls wrestling is a NSAA sanctioned sport. After hearing the news, Burke teacher Mr. Parker decided to make a team. Burke’s girls wrestling team is made up of 13 girls.

From the start of the program, the girl’s wrestling team has been supported by Burke administration and staff. Upon Parker’s arrival here at Burke, he immediately began organizing the team.

“I had a lot of support from Mr. Williams and the rest of the administration at Burke,”  Coach Parker said. “When I was hired, we discussed the opportunity to start the girl’s program, but with COVID, it was put on hold my first year at Burke. This gave us a ton of time to get the program started.”

Starting a wrestling program from scratch entails quite a bit of work. Coach Parker designed the singlets, which are the wrestling uniform for meets, and created the schedule. Finding a female assistant coach that would be a role model to the wrestlers was important to Coach Parker.

“We started with looking at assistant coaches and found one of the best to help out with the girls, Coach Taylor,” Parker said.

Coach Taylor is the only female wrestler to reach the finals of the boy’s state Championships during her time in high school.

However, the most challenging part of designing the program was finding athletes to compete. This was difficult because wrestling is sometimes considered a “boys” sport, and finding young women with little to no experience experience with wrestling to compete in a “boys” sport was difficult.

“Getting female athletes that have never competed in the sport of wrestling to do a “boys” sport is tough,” Coach Parker said. “Many people don’t feel that girls should wrestle or have never heard of females in the sport. There are a lot of of biases against girl’s wrestling which in return hurts the recruitment of girls.”

Despite wrestling being a “boys” sport,  girls have showed up to compete. Freshman Sophia Scott joined wrestling to stay active.

“I wanted to join wrestling because it was a new way to be aggressive and stay fit,” Scott said.

Members of the girl’s wrestling team have been conditioning twice a week to prepare for season. Conditioning has been physically challenging for the girls, and has prepared them to compete at a high level.

“We run for 6 minutes and then we get into a circle and stretch. We do lines and practice shooting. When we’re done with that, we get a partner and practice moves on each other,” Freshman Jesmy Truhjillo Montejo said. “At the end of the practice, we jog and sprint.”

With this being the first year of Burke Girl’s Wrestling, the girls have high hopes for the things they will achieve.

“I’m most excited to be one of the first female wrestlers at Burke,” said Scott. “My goal for this year is to make state.”