Breaking Barriers: RHS and Girls Wrestling

Breaking+Barriers%3A+RHS+and+Girls+Wrestling

Wrestling has been known as a ¨Boy sport¨  for centuries throughout the world, including here at Ramsey High School… until now. Like many others, wrestling is a male dominated sport that girls are starting to be slowly introduced to. Throughout society, it is becoming more and more acceptable for women to participate in high male density sports including football and hockey in addition to wrestling. However, in reality, people still see wrestling as a sport meant for males, one only meant for girls to watch, not participate in. Despite all of the doubt, female wrestling started to thrive in RHS in 2020 when Reeve Fatuova changed this reality. 

The women’s wrestling team officially started in 2021 when multiple girls joined the team, but Reeve Fatuova started wrestling on the boys team in the 2020-2021 season of her Junior year. The previous years she was the stats girl for the team but this changed when she went out to be on the team. Wanting to spread this female wrestling community, Reeve and her wrestling coach Anthony Petrock started to recruit girls for the team. This process was not easy but they successfully got three girls to come try the sport despite only two of them staying. The women’s team starting  off with one girl and then reaching three, makes the interest of girls wrestling spread throughout the school community. This gives the hope that this program will prosper in the future of Ramsey and this will not be considered a “boys sport” any longer.

The women’s team now consists of Reeve Fatuova, Angela Gjini and Paige Kirk who all wrestle together. Although, there are difficulties with drilling because of the group of three and uneven weight classes. Reeve wrestles at the weight class of 106 and Paige at 113 making them the perfect partners to drill together. Angela wrestles at 138 making it difficult for her to have a partner matching in weight. This caused her to go between wrestling the girls and boys for different practices depending on the drills. For now practices are with the boys and girls team being trained together on the same mats, but if the sport were to grow this could change. As already shown, male and female wrestlers work separately or together depending on comfort levels and necessity, but this does not cause conflict like many would think. 

Most people are accepting of this new idea of female wrestlers, but there are setbacks to the  introduction of females into the sport. Some have a hard time getting over that girls have to weigh-in and even get physical with their opponents during practices and matches. This sport is known as very aggressive and hard, which is not often something people are used to girls participating in even though this  idea is spreading with other sports including hockey and football. Many think that there is an extra sensitivity to girls during weigh-ins for matches, and even say that they must do it because it’s a sport for eating disorders. While this could be true, there are precautions taken to make sure that this is not the case like restrictions on how much weight an athlete can lose each week. These restrictions are on all athletes, male and female, and allow for those in the sport to be healthy. 

It’s great to see that with all of these setbacks and struggles, lady rams are still prevailing. The amount of determination, persistence, and strength it takes not only to master the physical aspect of wrestling, but all of the stigma and mental aspects as well is immeasurable. Although right now only three girls are enrolled in the program, they are paving the way for the girls wrestling program at Ramsey high school to develop into something spectacular. The creation of this program may be one small aspect in womens wrestling history, but one big aspect of Ramsey high school’s  history.