Addition of girls refines the wrestling room


Audrey Strembicki

Jana El’ Harake practices with a teammate to prepare for an upcoming match.

Joshua Sabbia, Reporter

Historically, wrestling has been considered a male dominant sport all around the world. The wrestling team has been no exception, that is, until this school year. They now have a total of 10 girls on the team in comparison to last year’s mere five.

The addition of more women has allowed the team to compete in their first ever District and Regionals Florida tournament. In previous years, they were unable to do this because of the limited number of girls on the team.

“It’s nice to see that more people are interested in the sport,” said senior and team captain Jana El’ Harake.

OHS hosted the first Districts girls tournament last year. Because of this, the team has had an influx of girls join this preseason after doubling their number.

With these bigger numbers now they can have a more official girls team and wrestle in both dual tournaments and individual.

“Now that we have a bigger team we will have more potential to go to bigger girl tournaments,” said El’ Harake.

Having more tournaments allows the girls to get more matches in and to gain additional experience. These matches will show the true representation of the girls team and how they are here to stay in the sport.

These girls have to deal with not just those hard practices, but also with what society tells them to do. They constantly deal with having to be told that they shouldn’t because it’s a ‘boys sport’, so to have fellow girl teammates that are there for them is meaningful.

“It definitely wouldn’t be the same because these girls have become my friends that I see in the locker room,” said sophomore Amelia Vernadoe.

Some girls might not feel accepted by the guys because of the fact that they are different genders, so this girl team means a lot to all of them as they support each other on and off the mat.

With the team being predominantly male last year, it often left the women feeling uncomfortable or out of place. Luckily, this no longer has to be an issue for OHS wrestlers.

“It’s nice having more girls to talk to, ” said El’ Harake. “You don’t feel so alone.”