Girls’ Wrestling Fights Through with High Numbers


Rebecca Simpkins

Jasmine Gordon successfully completes a cradle in her match against Ritenour High School. A cradle gives the wrestler two points and a method for a pin.

Rebecca Simpkins, Sports Editor

Nerves high and energy even higher as the gym bustles with athletes as they prepare for their first match of the night. The atmosphere and energy at a wrestling meet are vitally important to the wrestlers’ performance. On December 17, 2022, the girls’ wrestling team was faced with a quad meet and saw the importance of the environment.

Senior and captain Jasmine Gordon prioritizes creating an upbeat and supportive environment, knowing the effect that this has on the sport.

“Positive attitude, no self-degrading, and reminding myself that I know what I’m doing and that’s all I need to worry about,” Gordon said. “Creating the most enjoyable environment for me and my teammates is the biggest priority.”

A quad meet is where each school faces each of the other schools, so each athlete has the opportunity to have four matches. The schools in attendance were Ritenour, Mehlville, Parkway Central, and Pattonville.

Pattonville first faced Parkway Central. If both girls from different teams weigh the same, they would wrestle. If not, the other team forfeits for that weight and the opposing team wins that match automatically.

The girls’ team puts an emphasis on recruiting, because the more girls on the roster for each weight class, the more opportunity they have to win.

There is usually a large period of time when wrestlers are sitting and waiting for their time to wrestle, allowing their nerves to get the best of them.

“It’s nerve-wracking, yes,” captain Allie Basta said. “You can feel your nerves, and it’s a lot of focusing on you. Getting yourself hyped and saying ‘let’s see what I can do.’”

Learning the skills and the repetition pays off in meets. The more experienced wrestlers know the importance of practice.

“To a teammate who just took a hard loss, I often assure them that they did some good things,” Basta said. “I explain what we can work on and what the purpose of practice is and try to fix that. I also assure them that I have had plenty of losses and it takes time to gain experience and develop skills to make our skills muscle memory. But that’s just why we practice.”

After every match, the wrestlers watch the recording to see what they did well and what they could improve on for next time.

“It takes being able to have a drive that motivates the rest of the team to try as best as they can and push. Over anything else it takes being a good sport and someone to bounce back from any mistake,” Gordon said.

While filling the roster does pay off during meets, when learning a whole new sport, there is a lot of growth to be made throughout the season.

“I am impressed by the number of girls that have made incredible improvements and listen to constructive criticism well,” Basta said. “It really influences a well-rounded and strong team. Our supportive words of encouragement also develop a strong group foundation to submerge in when there are chaotic tournaments occurring.”

While practice prepares athletes for the physicality side of matches, there is more that goes into for example the matches drive, technique, and headspace.

“When you have the drive to come out on top you often get nothing less than exactly that, when you have technique, it all falls smoothly into place. Another component is headspace; speaking healthy to yourself and about your abilities,” Gordon said.

One thing that is contributing to the successful season so far is having a pretty full roster with many returners.

“We have four seniors on our team that play a major role in our wins,” Coach Mueller said.

The team celebrated their seniors on Wednesday, January 18, with senior night at their last home match for the year, recognizing Allie Basta, Jas Gordon, Jasmine Harris, and Jaida Holland.

The season is far from over with tournaments and meets throughout the month of January. The girls’ will have the district tournament on February 10-11.