Port Jervis rookie Charlie Wylie recalls his first attempt at wrestling at the age of seven.
It was fun, competitive and similar to the jiu-jitsu I was preparing for. But it soon became clear to her that there were no other girls on the carpet with her. From the training hall to the various competitions I have competed in, wrestling has been a predominantly male sport.
In many ways, it has remained that way, but women's wrestling has come a long way since then.
"When I was younger, I didn't expect things to change," said Willie, now 14.
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In addition to individual women's wrestling championships, some girls have won divisional titles. Willie became the first girl to win the Division 9 and Division II championships last season by defeating the boys. It aims to repeat it in the US this year and move forward.
The 102-pound boxer is third in Division II nationally and is 34-1 with his only loss due to a medical withdrawal from the tournament. Between competition and training, she also competed in New York State Women's Wrestling. During the holidays, she and her friends met with government officials to pressure the state to formally sanction the girls' oath.
“When it first happened, everyone made such a fuss about it, and I thought this was another championship that I won, but now I understand it better and understand how important it really is,” Willy recently said. . “This year I definitely plan to go back to the US. Last year in the US I didn’t win a match, actually I won 0-2, but this year I hope to get ranked or win.
"I think we're definitely on the verge of punishing a girl for wrestling. It's going to happen pretty soon, it's all over the place right now."
It's a question of time
As of early 2023, 37 states have recognized women's wrestling as an official sport recognized by their state's high school governing bodies.
Out of 37 countries, 17 have officially added the sport in the last three years.
"It's crazy that New York has taken so long," Arlington coach Dave Grafmuller said. "It's a sport that we compete in at the Olympics, but we don't have a major or minor league to encourage it because we don't compete in it the way we should have in high school. Overall, the rise in wrestling has led to the growth of women's wrestling, because somehow we have to support the Olympics and the world's trials. Of course, we are in a relatively advanced state, so it's shocking that we have not yet reached this.
In July 2022, the NYSPHSAA announced that it had designated women's wrestling as a "new sport" and that a national women's wrestling committee would be formed.
In New York City, a new sport means that six or more local divisions with four or more schools sponsor the sport.
The neighboring states of New Jersey (2018) and Connecticut (2019) have sanctioned women's wrestling, and Pennsylvania allowed women's wrestling as a new sport last year.
“He grew up very well,” said Daniela Parisi, young tappan Zee, who placed second at last year's New York Women's Folk Style Championships. “Many girls want to try it. Now that it has appeared in the outback and other areas, it has grown a lot.”
Adriana Palumbo, who won the US-sponsored U.S. Championship Wrestling and competed in the Fargo Girls All-American Summer Championship, is a strong supporter of women's wrestling, but she also has logistical issues when the sport is legalized in New York City.
“I think if it were to become a separate sport now, it would limit girls' ability to wrestle because it would mean they would have to form women's teams that wouldn't allow them to train with boys' teams. "In general, I don't think it would be good," Palumbo said. Last year I was the only girl on my team. This year there are two more girls in my team. If there was a women's team, I wouldn't have a partner. because both girls in my team are under 130 and I am 152. You need to train to work.
Broken glass ceilings
Women's wrestling tournaments, which seemed unexpected a few years ago, have become increasingly popular in recent years.
Locally, in recent years, Edgemont has hosted girls-only tournaments. Peekskill hosted his first women's wrestling tournament last week. Division 9 had championships for girls and even a separate wrestling tournament for girls.
The popular Eastern States Classic has added a girls section for 2020. When the tournament returned in 2023, the girls' section was expanded and finalists attended the same boys' closing ceremony with floodlights and presentations.
"I'm really excited that it's really picking up steam and a lot of girls are doing well," said Putnam Valley High School's Joanne Demetralls, who placed third in the Eastern States Women's Division. "It's great to see talented girls competing in a sport that is known to be dominated by men."
The NYSPHSAA is hosting its first ever all-girls wrestling tournament in the state on Friday at the SRC Arena and Events Center in Syracuse.
said the doctor. Zayas, Executive Director of the NYSPHSAA. Status and we are happy to organize an event to showcase it on January 27th. I hope it becomes a state championship in the near future.
There were 456 entries for the competition, according to the NYSPHSAA, but the competition had to be narrowed down to 208 girls to form full teams of 16 wrestlers in each of the 13 weight divisions. The girls were selected to compete in the NYSPHSAA Girls competition. Wrestling Invitational based on their experience, level and national representation.
PSAL schools in New York did not participate in the event, although male wrestlers have competed in NYSPHSAA tournaments for many years.
Demetrolis, Parisi and Palumbo, along with Sienna Cozzelli (Harrison), Taylor Rogers (Putnam Valley), Isabelle DiMelo (John J. East Fishkill) and Ava Amitrano (Horace Greeley) will star in the first division.
Division 9 will feature 11 competitors: Sarah Pauls, Kira Phillippe, Giada Macaluso, Patricia Deslands, Savannah Teitelback of Saugerty, Gillian Mills and Meredith Mills. They will be joined by Pine Bosch's Brooke Tarsis, Liberty's Stella Torres and Zoe Cape, and Port Jervis' Alyssa Reid.
“I think it's great because more women are doing it, more women are forced to try, and they are not afraid of failure,” says Palumbo, who only started wrestling last year. “We have a lot of support and we are building a very good community.
“I strongly believe that when you see a guy like you do what you want, you will want to do it. Being the only one doing this can be scary because there is no one to turn to. Deciding, not planning, but seeing other girls do something is definitely a great help for those who just need an extra push to try something."
Follow Yevgeny Rapay on Twitter @erapay5 and Instagram @byeugenerapay.
This article originally appeared in Rockland/Westchester Journal News: Women's Wrestling: How soon will New York be punished?