Wrestling is no longer a male dominated sport


Kyrsten Brown, Reporter

Senior female wrestler, Abi Sweger placed 6th in the PA Girls State Championship in Gettysburg back in March. Sweger said, “ Wrestling for the school has been an awesome experience.” She views them as her family, and rather quickly accepted her when she joined. But being one of the only girls is challenging. “When it comes to weighing in and skin checks and just things that I can’t be with the guys for. I have to always find my own place to change and make sure I can find my team after I weigh in because they are usually warming up by that time,” said Sweger.

Being part of the team also sparks up some good friendships. Being one of the only girls on the team means she might get messed with, but the guys also take the time to show Sweger different moves and push her to do her best. She said, “They just see me as a wrestler and treat me like any other teammate.” Being one of the only female wrestlers can cause some chaos, some spectators usually are not as nice or approving as some people, but said the guys on the team stick up for her no matter what.

Sweger who placed 6th out of the 20 other females in her bracket was very proud of her performance because some of the girls she matched up against have been wrestling their whole lives or wrestle all year round. Sweger said, “I took on some pretty tough girls. All of those girls have a lot of talent.” Wrestling is something Sweger has been wanting to do since her freshman year, even though she doesn’t really have a reasoning why, but she thought it would be a way to prove herself and to show people that girls can compete for no matter what sport it is. She also mentioned that it’s a great way to stay in shapes for other sports she participates in.

Earlier in the school year, Sweger was the varsity kicker for the football team, on top of playing soccer. Coach Nate Gutshall  encouraged Sweger by saying that wrestling is a male and female sport, and female wrestling is an Olympic sport so there was no reason that she shouldn’t wrestle. Sweger said, “I knew some people wouldn’t be too happy about and I knew I would have people supporting me.” The team has helped her build confidence and really respected what she was doing. Wrestling has taught her independence, self-discipline, and work ethic. “I this sport you truly get out what you put in. I learned that I am capable of things I never thought I was and it really built my confidence as a person knowing that I could do something that even some guy can’t do,” said Sweger.

She is planning on attending Lebanon Valley College and plans on being a redshirt kicker for their football team in the fall since they do not have a wrestling team. She also plans on being part of the martial arts club which is both boxing and wrestling. “I will always come back whenever I can to support my teams at Big Spring and I’ll miss it more than anything,” said Sweger.