A New Era in Pella Wrestling


Lauren Burton

Freshman Elizabeth Thomas wrestles during our glow in the dark night at Pella. Wrestling at 130 against her opponent from Newton! “It was a tough match. She knew what she was doing, and she knew how to use her hips and move me where she wanted me to go,” said Thomas.

Girls’ Wrestling begins its first official season in the state of Iowa this year. Pella Schools has 13 girls going out for the team at the high school level and 4 at the middle school level; however, this group also includes athletes from Pella Christian and Knoxville schools. 

This has been a very long process to establish girls’ wrestling as an official sport in Iowa. There have always been a couple of girls that went out for wrestling across the state, but these past couple of years, the number has really ramped up. In 2019 girls’ wrestling had its first-ever state tournament. This wasn’t an official event, but it was important for the sport. Ever since that first unofficial state tournament, the numbers have continued to go up. In the state this year there are projected to be at least 1,000 girls out. 

Coach Adam Hale is the head coach of the team. He teaches Physical Education at Jefferson Intermediate. He joined his first official wrestling club in 3rd grade and has been doing it since. When he graduated from college, he began his coaching career at Newton, where he coached and taught for the past 9 years.

He is super excited about the opportunity to coach girls’ wrestling and loves being able to build the foundation for the program with the girls. 

“The girl’s job was really appealing because you get to start from scratch. We have two solid returners, but besides that, we get to build things how we want,” said Hale. “You don’t get that opportunity very often, so to get that chance is a fun one.” 

Ellison Ritzert, a junior at Pella Christian is very excited about this opportunity and wants to make the most of it. 

“I think by giving it your all, others can learn to give it their all as well and really encourage each other to do their best,” said Ritzert.

Senior Jacie Olsen joined last year and loves the challenge of the sport. 

“I was craving a challenge,” said Olson. “I wanted something in my life that could challenge me every single day in every aspect of my life, and wrestling definitely does that for me.”