Girls’ Wrestling Resilience
By Stephanie Farmer
Girl’s wrestling is a sport that has created some of Edmonds Woodway’s most fierce and resilient athletes.
Vatoria Keyes, Emily Hood, Charlotte Torio, and River Freeburg all joined wrestling to try something new and meet strong people. Starting in middle school, Keyes and Torio have each been wrestling for several years and have said the sport has made them much stronger. All four women speak about both the physical tenacity and mental fortitude they have earned through the hard work wrestling put them through. Hood says she has gained self control that has paved the way for her to be dedicated to her schooling. Keyes says she has gained loads of confidence in her day to day life, “in class I used to be super shy until I joined wrestling.”
Outside of the competitions, the wrestlers have found support throughout Edmonds Woodway’s halls. All the women agree that the teachers and administration have been very supportive as the team grows. “Our meets and scores are announced, and teachers ask how the team is doing,” affirms Hood. As the number of girls increased from Torio, the first girl on the wrestling team, to the current sixteen, the encouragement has surged. Therefore, the girls want to encourage more people to join and grow in the same way they did.
Though they have been cheered on by many people, the women of the wrestling team have faced stereotyping and sexism. Charlotte Torio was the first woman on the current wrestling team at Edmonds Woodway, and she has been told by many that girls shouldn’t be wrestling. “I’ve been asked by guys at competitions, ‘What are you doing here? This is a boy’s sport.” However, Torio and the other athletes all state that because of the life lessons they’ve learned, each of them have learned ways to recover from any negativity that is thrown their way. They have been taught resilience and will not be pushed down by the people around them. These women are tackling gender stereotypes with every opponent they take down.
The next meet is Saturday, January 19 at Everett High School.