Women’s Wrestling is Dominating at IBW


Anabella Nutcher (she/her), Staff Writer

When you think of wrestling, you typically think of a male-dominated sport. But women’s wrestling has been growing bigger and bigger every year.

Even though our school team is mostly made of men, there are a group of women on the team that have been going above and beyond. Women’s wrestling has grown by a lot over the past few years, with the first girl’s state being in 2019 and now having multiple Oregon regionals.

Emily Radtke, one of the captains of the wrestling team, said “[My dad’s] wrestling coach didn’t allow girls on the wrestling mats and made them wrestle in the grass on the team until they quit,” To go from that to starting to have a separate girls division has to be a  major improvement.

Our school’s wrestling season takes place during the winter, from November through mid-February, and is led by Tony Petraglia and Lance Johnson. They meet every day, usually at Jackson Middle School in the wrestling rooms there. At meets, they go over technique, cardio, and basic martial arts such as jiu-jitsu or judo.

The competitions are once a week and can last up to five hours since there can be up to four schools competing at once and only one match can take place at a time.

It does not have to be a big commitment to sign up though. There are around 40 people signed up with around a quarter being women, but not everyone shows up regularly. There are many people that sign up just to have fun and go to practice meets every so often with no pressure of having to go to all of the tournaments. Yet, wrestling can become a lot more to other people at IBW, and many find a passion for the sport.

Radtke expressed why she loved the sport so much, and how it lets you take your mind off things.. “The only thing you can focus on is the next shot, the next attack, the next sprawl… You’re out there on the mat for yourself,” Radtke said. She mentions that it has helped her a lot to get her mind off her personal issues and just have a break to think about wrestling instead.

The wrestling season this year is almost over, but if you are interested, you can always try it out and sign up for next year. “I think people should sign up next year so that they can learn their own limits and how they can overcome them and become stronger as a person from that,” said Radtke. People are constantly improving and persevering through losses and having fun through wrestling.

“Join wrestling, try it out, see if you like it, and just have fun. Enjoy it. Enjoy life,” said Radtke.