Girls Take to the Mat

Norma Spiker, Executive Editor

PHS has their first official female wrestlers this year. Junior Jasey Olson, along with freshman Elizabeth Thomas, both plan to take to the mat this winter. Both Olson and Thomas are training for the winter competition season. Although Pella doesn’t have the official numbers for a girls’ team yet, the two are starting this year, hoping next year the girls’ team will have the numbers to be an official team. The girls’ competition season will mirror the boys’ pretty closely. 

Coach David Bouska explains the process for the girl wrestlers, “Many duals and tournaments have other girl competitors, so they will travel with the team and simply compete like everyone else but against other girls or girls only divisions.” 

The practices for the girls are also similar. Bouska describes the practices, “Our girls practice and drill at the same time as the boys, and the only difference is that their partners will be a girl, unless they are comfortable wrestling boys.” 

The coaches want to make the girls  feel included. Bouska emphasizes this, “These ladies are part of the Pella Wrestling Team.”

Thomas has a little bit of wrestling under her belt, unlike Olson who has no wrestling experience. Her decision to do wrestling was purely based on improving herself. 

“Already after the first few days, you can tell that wrestling is a mindset and strength sport,” said Thomas. “And that’s really what I wanted to build less of the actual wrestling and more of it making me stronger.”

After a few official weeks of practice, the girls are already looking ahead to the competition season. 

“Everyone is at different levels of experience and strength, but everyone completes everything as a team which I think is cool,” said Olson. “Being one of the two girls, the guys have been very motivating, treating us just like any other teammate, they definitely push me to be better and get stronger.” 

As PHS works to build a girls’ only team, Bouska said, “I would encourage any girl not doing a winter sport to join wrestling! Wrestling is great for conditioning, footwork, and strength-training for other sports on top of the fact that it is just a fun thing to be a part of.”