The Student News Site of Pella High School


The Student News Site of Pella High School


The Student News Site of Pella High School


Emmalee Spurgeon; Journey to the Mat

Candace Thompson
Emmalee Spurgeon celebrating her win at regionals.

Last year, Girls’ Wrestling was finally a sanctioned sport in Iowa. Multiple girls wrestled the year prior, but last year was a pivotal moment for the Lady Dutch wrestlers. Sanctioning girls’ wrestling made it possible for more girls across the state to compete and participate in wrestling. The Lady Dutch Wrestlers are composed of girls from Pella, Pella Christian, and Knoxville. This year we had three wrestlers go to state, Serenity Turner from Knoxville, Elaine Babcock, and Emmalee Spurgeon from Pella. One of the standout wrestlers this year is senior Emmalee Spurgeon. 

“I started wrestling because someone convinced me to do it because of my martial arts experience,” said Spurgeon. “I had thought about doing it sophomore year since I’ve grown up on combat sports, but it ended up not working out, so sanctioning girl’s wrestling was a big milestone.”

Spurgeon has made a name for herself in Women’s Wrestling. She has now made it to State two years in a row and has shown her tremendous dedication to the wrestling program. But she notes that she couldn’t do it alone. She states that her teammates and coaches were able to help her grow in the Girl’s Wrestling program.

“Honestly, there isn’t a single aspect I haven’t grown in. I think something that is often overlooked, though, is confidence. I’ve learned to be confident in my abilities, more so than I already was from competing for taekwondo,” Spurgeon stated. “I also learned leadership within the wrestling room while being a captain, and was able to create unbreakable bonds with my teammates, family, and coaches.”

Spurgeon went into the State with an undefeated record. She continued to work through the entire season, never forgetting her end goal: making it to state. At regionals, she got a newfound confidence that helped her at State. 

“My highest point of the season was definitely winning regionals. It gave me the confidence that everybody is beatable, and it helped strengthen my bond with my coaches. Working in the room during the three days leading up to state was also super special to me. Yeah, it was tough at times and stressful, but having those last few days with my girls was amazing.”

Spurgeon plans to go to Grand View University to continue her wrestling career this fall. She has been going to the Grand View Wrestling Club twice a week during her off-season. It has helped her build relationships with the other wrestlers there, and she has been able to meet coaches who have been able to mentor her.

“I chose Grand View because of the coaches and the wrestlers I’ve met there,” said Spurgeon. “From the few interactions I’ve had with Coach Crinzi, I already know that I’m going to have a lot of fun wrestling there and have yet another amazing support system and team.”

Before Spurgeon was involved with Girls Wrestling, she had been involved with Taekwondo for multiple years prior. Although the two sports are unrelated, she stated that being in a competitive experience before she started wrestling helped her prepare for what she has experienced on the mat.

“Two years ago, I dreamed of being on the top of the taekwondo podium. Even being near a podium for wrestling is crazy, let alone placing fourth. Ending on a loss was disappointing, but I just need to keep improving and putting the work in. Hopefully, those aspects will help me reach my goals of becoming ranked in the nation during college!”

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About the Contributors
Faith Vandenberg, Executive Print Editor
Faith is a junior this year, and this is her third year on the staff. She likes to write features, reviews, and opinion articles. She also does a lot of photography for the staff. This is her first year as the Executive Editor of the Pelladium. Outside of school she enjoys working, reading, and spending time with her friends.        
Candace Thompson, Reporter

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