Girls’ wrestling team plans for upcoming season


Alec Ostapuck

Senior Aubrey Griner and sophomore Nelease Danzy wrestle during practice on Monday, November 21.

Adisyn Graham, Staff Writer & Photographer

The Hayes girls’ wrestling team will be the largest girls’ high school wrestling team in the state of Ohio, for the second year in a row.
“We’re looking right now at somewhere between 30-40 girls,” head coach Josh Lamb said.
This year marks the third year that wrestling has been available at the middle school level, which means this year’s freshmen were seventh graders when middle school wrestling was put in place.
Lamb said that having experienced freshmen gives them an advantage because they are now coming in with two years of experience, rather than the majority of them knowing nothing about the sport.
“Just looking at what I’ve seen in the fall with some open mats, they’re tough and they’re not afraid,” Lamb said. “They jump right in with our seniors.”
Lamb has strong plans for the upcoming season.
“What I plan on, is having practice every day and competing as hard as we can,” Lamb said.
Each year the girls compete to be able to go to the state championship and during the 2021 season, the girls were ranked fourth at the state championships.
“Our goal is to be state champs,” Lamb said. “But I mean, that’s what we’ve been working for since these girls all started.”
Additionally, he said that their competition gets tougher each and every year.
Lamb said that team captain and senior, Kelcey Dew, has been a huge contributor to the girls wrestling team at Hayes.
“Kelcey has been wrestling since she was little,” Lamb said. “I know she started out wrestling against boys and she’s pretty much helped grow the sport here at Hayes.”
Dew never fails to impress the coaches with her hard working skills, as she trains each and every day. “My personal goal is to win states,” Dew said. “I’ve been training ever since last season ended. I feel really good about it, so I will keep training till the day of the state tournament.”

Being a team captain does not change who I am. I want to make sure my team is ready to compete athletically and academically wise.

— Kelcey Dew

Many of the girls, as well as Lamb, mentioned that they get really burnt out by the end of the season. Correspondingly, this is also the first year that the girls season has been extended by about a month, to equal the length of the boys season.
“We are trying to build in some more downtime early,” Lamb said. “I don’t want to burn the girls out, especially being new to the sport, or newer to the sport. Burnouts are a real thing.”
Although the girls can get burnt out very quickly, it is important for the team leaders to make sure the team is at their full potential to compete.

“Being a team captain does not change who I am,” Dew said. “I want to make sure my team is ready to compete athletically and academically wise.”
As girls wrestling is still relatively new, those that are brand new to the sport need all the welcoming they can get.
“[It would] be really cool if a couple of the other girls and I could really get up there and welcome them,” Junior Gracie Rasberry said.
Both Dew and Rasberry explained how much they appreciate everything that the coaches do for them, especially coach Lamb.
“The coaches have been there for me since the day I stepped in the wrestling room my freshman year,” Dew said. “They have done so much for me, pushed me even when I thought I couldn’t continue. They have made me who I am today.”
The girls said that Lamb is like a dad to them.
“You love him, but you also just want to smack him sometimes,” Rasberry said.

If you don’t really want to do your last rep of bench, but [Coach Lamb] knows you didn’t do that last rep of bench, he will call you out on it.

— Gracie Rasberry

Having such a driven coach helps each and every teammate better themselves. Lamb is always pushing each girl to their maximum potential at every practice and every match.

“If you don’t really want to do your last rep of bench, but he knows you didn’t do that last rep of bench, he will call you out on it,” Rasberry said.
With the high number of teammates, dedicated coaches and planned team bonding opportunities, the team is excited for the upcoming season.
“The goal is to win it all,” Lamb said.