Girls Wrestling takes off in Missouri
COLUMBIA - About 30 teams and 200 wrestlers competed in the Wonder Woman Girls Wrestling Tournament at Battle High School in the largest high school girls wrestling event in Missouri.
Fulton High School Senior Reagan Verwys just started wrestling.
"I've never seen this many girls wrestling and it's amazing that everybody is interested in doing something new," Verwys said.
Hickman High School senior Le'Bria Cook won her weight division and Cook's proud to be a female wrestler.
"Honestly I don't think I would have had the courage to come out if it was only boys. I feel like there's a standard and I feel like boys are held above girls. I feel like it's important that we go out for these sports and that we do things that we're not traditionally supposed to be doing," Cook said.
Cook believes the girls are tough like the boys.
"Girls wrestling is very aggressive. I think the girl wrestlers are more nasty than the boys honestly," Cook said.
Battle High School Wrestling coach Mike Wakim organized the event. Wakim has a similar approach to coaching, no matter the gender.
"We're going to coach them the same way we coach our guys. The sport doesn't change. All the moves are the same. All the technique's the same," Wakim said.
Both Cook and Verwys encourage girls to wrestle.
"People associate wrestling with guys but I think in the next few years it's going to change and people are going to be like oh girls wrestle too," Verwys said.
"I didn't think that I would ever do it and then I decided to and it's turned out to be life changing. I've learned more than just wrestling. I’ve learned life lessons from my coaches," Cook said.
This season high school girls wrestling has its own weight division and a state tournament for the first time in Missouri history.