You go, girls!

It's one of the fastest growing high school sports among females, girls wrestling was only recently sanctioned by the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) in 2022. So, what's next for the future generation of female wrestlers across Michigan?

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According to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1990 the sport of all-girls wrestling had only 112 participants. Today that number has grown to over 31,000 and counting! What originally started with expos, showcases, and "unofficial" tournaments has now grown into official state tournaments across places like Florida, Colorado, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, Indiana and of course, Michigan.

Across Michigan, school districts like Fowlerville, St. Joseph, and Olivet already have an all-girls wrestling team in place and now we can add one more to the list; and it's right here in Michigan!

On December 8, 2023 the Otsego Public School district shard on Facebook:

Introducing Otsego’s first girls’ wrestling team! These five have made history in establishing a new team and compete today at their first all-girls wrestling tournament in Jackson. Good luck Bailey, Addison, Lexi, Sammie & Hope!

I don't know much about wrestling--men's or otherwise-- and I don't even know these girls personally, but I give them so much kudos for standing up for something that they love and believe in.

I remember when I started on the high school swim team in Allegan, our pool was so new we only had enough participants for a boys swim team-- not girls. The handful of us girls who still wanted to participate had to swim against the boys as an "exhibition" that didn't really count for anything competitively, only in principle.

I'll admit, it wasn't as fun swimming against the boys knowing the points wouldn't count for anything but I knew myself and my fellow female exhibition swimmers were laying an important foundation for the future generation of female swimmers. I'm guessing these girls in Otsego share a similar sentiment.

Here are some reactions from Otsego residents:

  • "Break those glass ceilings girls!! Making history, making records & making our community proud!!" - Erin Bonovetz
  • "As a former OHS wrestler,(103lb and 112lb weight class) who had to wrestle females from time to time, I am glad to see this opportunity for young woman to compete on a more even playing field! Proud to be a Bulldog!" - Nate Sherman
  • "As an alumni from 30 years ago (that is no longer in the area,) I love seeing all of the positive things going on at OPS. Especially something like this. GO GIRLS GO" - Pollie Gilchrist

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