Girls’ wrestling focuses on recruitment and building skills

Junior%27s+Jamie+Hake+and+Maddie+Wells+wrestle+with+each+other+in+practice.

Kristen Smith

Junior’s Jamie Hake and Maddie Wells wrestle with each other in practice.

Around the country, girls wrestling has been rising in popularity. As winter sports begin, the Hayes wrestling program has worked hard to recruit and increase the number of girls in wrestling at Hayes.
With practices underway and tournaments beginning soon, wrestling head coach Josh Lamb is excited about the growth within the program.
“Currently, we sit with 23 girls, but I think we have about a dozen more that may come out,” Lamb said. “I think we are going to have the biggest team in the state of Ohio.”
Since girls wrestling is a fairly new sport at Hayes, the majority of the girls participating have little experience.
“Some girls are going to have one year of experience, and a bunch of them are going to have none,” Lamb said.
Most girl wrestlers are new to the sport and do not know all the moves yet. First-year wrestler and junior Jamie Hake is eager to learn more about wrestling.
“I’m obsessed with learning all the moves. It gives me so much joy to learn new things,” Hake said. “It makes you feel so accomplished and so successful.”
Although wrestling is a sport that improves a girl’s physical strength, Lamb emphasizes the mental benefits as well.
“A lot of it to me is not who’s the next girl state champion,” Lamb said. “There is something to be said for helping girls build confidence in themselves.”
The wrestling team’s main focus is building a community. Second-year wrestler and senior Jordan Rutherford said she works to continuously bring positivity to the team.
“Even before the season started, there was excitement on the team,” Rutherford said. “There’s a lot of energy right now.”
While the team has fun during practice, they all strive to be the best they can.
“Everyone’s taking it really seriously and trying to be intense in a good way,” Rutherford said.
With the season about to officially begin, the program is excited to see what the future holds.
“It’s actually like nothing I’ve ever been a part of,” Lamb said.