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The Pack

Tuscarora’s Ladies Take it to the Mat

By — Taylor Byrne

Throughout history, women in predominantly male-dominated fields, have been overlooked and underestimated. Especially in sports, before a certain time, a women in sports such as basketball, boxing, and wrestling was almost unheard of. Each sport needed a first, someone who was willing to follow their passion, and open the door for future generations. For wrestling this was Mildred Burke. Mildred Burke joined the sport of wrestling in the mid 1930’s, she wrestled over 200 men and only lost to one. She was one of the first, and most certainly will not be the last. All over the world, women compete in all levels of wrestling whether professional or in highschool, even here at Tuscarora we have three inspirational female wrestlers; Anna Klevenhagen, Eryn Hubble, and Ella Nassauer.

However, times have changed, while women still face adversity, at least here at Tuscarora we support our female wrestlers just as much as our males. When I asked, senior Anna Klevenhagen if she felt she was treated any differently she responded, “Not really. I show up to practice work hard and don’t care if anyone thinks girls can’t wrestle.” This mindset and work ethic proves even further, that your gender does not determine what you can and can not do in life. Her teammate Eryn Hubble, a sophomore, shares a similar mindset, Eryn stated: “I’m treated like everyone else. I wrestle, so does he, so does she. Nobody’s treated different, we are just like everyone else.” At the Tuscarora wrestling program they support every teammate, because there, they’re all wrestlers. “I also love the atmosphere, and couldn’t ask for a better team. The guys are like the brothers I never had. They’re so encouraging and supportive,” continued Eryn.

Wrestling more than anything is a mental sport, sheer strength can only take you so far. Anna mentioned that because of her gender she has had some doubts about herself. However, once you break past that block, it’s more about technique than anything. Eryn shared similar thoughts, and as her experience grew, so did her confidence, she knew if she was smart she could win. “Though I still get a little nervous before a match, I know that if I’m smart with my movements, I can take them. It’s an amazing feeling to beat boys who are stronger than you!” Eryn added.

Each wrestler has faced their own unique challenges as well as triumphs, but one thing they have in common is that this sport has changed them. In the case of Anna and Eryn, it is for the better.

“Wrestling has changed my outlook on life. It’s a mental sport and I know if I can overcome a match where the odds are against me, I can do anything I put my mind to,” Anna concluded. “Wrestling has changed me for the better. I’ve learned to push myself in ways I didn’t think was possible. I learned that your brain gives up before your body, and you have to push through the mental block. I now truly know what it feels like to work hard for something I want,” stated Eryn. Wrestling is a sport that all can enjoy, excel at, and work hard to achieve your goals no matter your gender.

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