First girls wrestling meet a success

The girls wrestling team competed for the first time in a tournament held at City High on Dec. 16.

Joe Goodman and Maddy Smith

The first meet of any wrestling season brings plenty of nerves and excitement. The first meet in program history, however, is an entirely new challenge.

The girls wrestling team is fully aware of the glass ceiling they are breaking by stepping onto mats this season, but for most athletes, they just want to compete and have fun.

Laurel Haverkamp ’20 first wrestled in junior high but decided not to compete in high school. The girls wrestling program gave her a second chance at the sport she loved.

“I think this will be kind of a chance to see where we are at and really get a feel for the sport,” Haverkamp. “I think no matter what happens, it will be really good.”

Fellow senior Caitlyn Hansen started wrestling this year and feels the first match offered valuable experience to be used in future competitions.

“I think for my inexperience it went really well. I wish I would’ve of course won, but I’m happy with what I’ve learned,” Hanson said. “I need to use all of my efforts, you kinda gotta get mad.”

Rawan Guzouli ’23 is new to the sport and ready to give her all. She joined the team knowing that everyone else is new too, and she will be apart of the very first girl’s team.

“So far I feel like we will do pretty good. Once we see a couple of people get taken down then we’ll start getting scared but I have trust in my team. I believe in them. I know they will do great.”

After dropping her first match, Guzouli was more than ready to get back on the mat and compete in her second outing.

“I didn’t win but I feel pretty confident about my next one,” Guzouli said. “The more aggressive you go at the beginning, the more scared the other person is going to be. [I’m] going to try not to get pinned down as much.”

Mattie Harms ’22 recorded the first win and pin of the night for the Women of Troy, becoming the first girl to win a match for West. Harms brought home her second win of the night by decision 7-0 later in the meet.

Later in the night, after a loss in her first match, Ana Davis ’22 became the second West girl to win by pin during her second match of the night. 

“I feel very good. I think did really well. I pushed to my max, I never gave up,” Davis said. “I know what I can improve and I know I can do better even though I did my best last time I can do better the next time.”

Mayowa Dokun ’22, brother of varsity boys wrestler Anu Dokun ’20, decided to go out for wrestling alongside her brother this year. After dropping her first match, Dokun refocused and pinned her opponent the second time around.

“[I feel] extremely energetic, a lot of energy, and really, really happy,” Dokun said. “[I] talked to my coaches about what I did wrong and I conserved a lot more of my energy.”

Head coach Justin Koethe was a three-time state qualifier for West High as a competitor and was recently hired as West High’s first girls wrestling coach. Koethe hoped to build a solid foundation for this season and get the girls valuable competition experience in this first meet.

“I’m just more excited than anything,” Koethe said. “Excited to see what happens.”