The new wave of Omaha North High: North opens a new female wrestling team

The+girls+wrestling+team+runs+as+part+of+their+conditioning.+Melissa+Smith%2C+right%2C+just+began+wrestling+this+year.+%E2%80%9CThey+also+push+me+to+do+better+when+I+feel+like+giving+up%2C%E2%80%9D+Smith+said.+

Kaden Hughes

The girls wrestling team runs as part of their conditioning. Melissa Smith, right, just began wrestling this year. “They also push me to do better when I feel like giving up,” Smith said.

Angie Twombly, Sports Writer

Omaha North High School makes school history by opening a girls only wrestling team, with head coach Dan Carlson, and assistant coach, Steven Kirchner. They are ready to set the foundation and take on the 2021-2022 high school wrestling season.  

In past years, on the other teams Carlson has coached, he has had female wrestlers that have only wanted to wrestle other girls. That wish has been granted, seeing that in 2021, the first all-girls wrestling team has been sanctioned at North High School. 

“It’s a trigger point for girls to actually take that step,” Carlson said. 

Wrestling has now doubled in participants from previous years where normally they would have around 15 to 20, they now have around 30 signed up. 

“It is going very well, and we are having good attendance from the girls participating,” Kirchner said, “they are doing a lot of extra work and are doing very well.” 

Kirchner has many goals for the upcoming season, like setting a foundation for the first year and pursuing championships in upcoming years. He expects to achieve this goal by “being where they need to be, in the practice rooms, the weight room and at conditioning.”  

At the beginning of October, the team endured on the pre-season conditioning. On November 1, official conditioning for the sport began, and on November 15, practices will begin. The girls also have their first wrestling meet on December 4. 

Tyonna Brown, 9, is starting her first year of wrestling for Omaha North High. Brown joined wrestling to try something new and stated, “it’s not easy but it is worth the effort.”  

Brown would have still joined wrestling even if it were still a boys and girls wrestling team. 

“Either way I’d be more comfortable,” Brown said. 

Melissa Smith, 12, is also joining wrestling for the first time at North. She’s wanted to join wrestling since her freshman year but has finally decided to for her last year. 

Smith feels more comfortable now that it is a girl only team even though she still would have joined if it were conjoined. She feels her team is treating her well. They are helping her correct her moves and making sure she is where she needs to be on the mat. 

“They also push me to do better when I feel like giving up,” Smith said. 

Smith is excited for competitions and likes the uniforms they will be wearing. This year they will have the same blue and yellow uniforms as previous years and girls will still be wearing singlets, the wrestling uniforms, for competitions. 

Girls and boys may still practice together occasionally even if they will not be competing with each other. New wrestlers are going to practice in the old wrestling room and experienced wrestlers will practice in the main wrestling room in the basement.  

The girls get treated equally to the boys, and coaches push both teams to make sure they are doing their best.  

“Since we are a team, everyone gets treated the same in my eyes,” Smith stated.