Girls wrestling makes debut with team of 11

Making its debut as a separate, all-girls team this year, ETHS girls’ wrestling has been able to grow rapidly in size—inspiring young, capable female athletes to excel at the sport.

“It shows that girls can do that sport; we can be wrestlers,” co-captain of the girls’ wrestling team Ariana Flores affirms. “We’re still looking for girls, and we’re hoping that, now that it’s an official sport, more girls will want to come out and try it.”

In previous years, wrestling was only offered as a co-ed sport, which resulted in male-dominated participation. Now, with 11 dedicated girls already on the varsity squad, that narrative has been flipped upside down. 

 “I didn’t think that many girls would want to join just from it being mainly a ‘guy’s’ sport, but I think hearing it come from another girl, it makes the other girls feel more welcomed in it,” Flores notes.

On Nov. 23, the team participated in their first-ever competition: a home quad-meet against Lane Tech, Ida Crown and Hope Academy. That day, contributing wins were made by sophomore Priscilla Hartwell, senior Nahla Dominguez, junior Elizabeth Paderes-Tores, junior Nadia Himrod and senior Alize Ramirez. Already off to a successful start, Evanston has a lot to look forward to for the season’s remainder.

“I’m hoping to see us all go to State and [place],” Flores says. “And for there to be a good bonding experience with everyone and just making a more positive environment.”

In order to achieve these goals, the squad has been working collectively and harder than ever during practice. Although, in the end, wrestling is considered an individual sport, having support from teammates has undeniably been necessary for each athlete’s success. 

“We’re definitely all pushing each other to do better this year as a whole,” Flores elaborates. “The coaches are doing a really good job at keeping us in check, and just really staying focused on us as students.”

Besides just the wins gained so far this season, the Kits have also been able to improve upon the social aspects of the team. 

“I really like how we all already connected; we all have a very tight bond,” Flores explains. “It kind of clicked right away.”

Overall, between team spirit, competitive experience and leadership opportunities, Flores—and athletes like her—have had nothing but a positive time as ETHS wrestlers.

“I just really enjoy being a part of something and knowing that I’m supported throughout it, and I have a good support system and people to push me. I am also able to set an example for people, and I think that’s what also pushes me more to be a better person and wrestler.”