Historic Season: First Sanctioned Girls Wrestling Season Begins
Practice is just kicking off for the inaugural sanctioned season of girls wrestling in Waukee. The sport is seeing exponential growth in Iowa and across the United States. Even though it’s the beginning of the season, Waukee wrestlers say it’s been an exciting and rewarding experience.
“It’s kind of like a family,” Eighth-grader Rachel Winfrey says. “We’re all learning — it’s easy to learn with people who are also learning.”
Earlier this year, the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IHSA) voted unanimously to sanction girls wrestling as the eleventh sport for girls following the addition of girls bowling, which was sanctioned in 2007. Iowa becomes the 34th state to sanction high school girls wrestling. To date, over 1,000 girls representing over 185 Iowa schools will be competing in wrestling this year at the high school level.
In Waukee, the girls wrestling team is comprised of four high schools: Waukee, Northwest, ADM, and Van Meter. The team is called The Raccoon River Wrestling Team. Coach James Biscoglia says the team is experiencing tremendous support and recognition from all four of the school’s officials.
“Coming up with a creative concept like Raccoon River Wrestling that will allow these girls to identify with their home district and also identify as a girl wrestler on a girl team,” Biscoglia says. “We wanted the girls to feel like they were a part of something big and that they are pioneers in the world of wrestling — this is only going to get bigger.”
Raccoon River Wrestling has its first meet on November 15 at Northwest High School where all CIML schools will compete.