Introducing Wrestling


Raina Dent, Staff Reporter

In regard to the upcoming wrestling season, seniors Kalila Shrive and Isabel Garcia-Lule are very excited. Shrive, the reigning national champion, says that she has plans to take her wrestling career to the next level and the sanctioning of West High’s Girls Wrestling team will only benefit her, she hopes.

Before this year, the girls wrestling team often competed in tournaments with boys because there weren’t enough girls on the roster. By sanctioning the team, coach Jon Corbett hopes that it will bring more recognition to the program, ultimately bringing more girls to join. Although, Shrive doesn’t mind wrestling the boys, she believes that having a strictly girls program would be nice.

Garcia-Lule joked, “Well she [Shrive] doesn’t mind wrestling [with] the boys because she’s good.” She also says that while she “doesn’t have a problem with the boys,” they are more intense and aggressive. Shrive and Garcia-Lule both agree that wrestling boys has helped them improve drastically. Both girls have previous martial arts experience.

“It is not really a safety issue,” Corbett explains. “Them being sanctioned means that they have their own dual meets and league tournament.” He says that they’ve already seen six new girls join the program, in addition to the four returning wrestlers. The girls also have a new assistant coach, Rogelio Bravo, an English teacher. Corbett hopes that by hiring new coaches, the wrestlers will get more personal attention to develop new skills.

Garcia-Lule and Shrive are both very hopeful about this upcoming season. Shrive placed 1st in a national competition this past season, and Garcia-Lule went on to compete at the state tournament.

“Hopefully, I’ll make it to state and place this year,” Garcia-Lule stated.

Shrive says that while she hopes to place in state and compete in nationals again, she wants to grow the team more, take more girls to state, and bring more recognition to the program and the sport in general. Unfortunately, there are only five women’s Division I programs, in comparison to the seventy-eight men’s programs. She even expressed excitement recalling a story of when someone came up to her and asked about the program with an interest to join. She says that many girls can be intimated by wrestling, and they want to show that it is demanding work but can be fun.

“The best thing I say is to try,” Shrive says,” You never know what may come of it.”