Girls wrestling continues to grow as new era begins

Sophomore Lea Barron talks to one of the officials at the tournament before her match.

Ryder Lowery, Staff Writer

When people think of girls wrestling at our school, most think about state champions Lexi Shannon and Maddie Sandquist. But now that they’re graduated, who will carry on their legacy? With their influence and motivation, the girls wrestling team has grown.

Coach Jeff Knight is pushing his teams even harder, now that there’s so many of them. He keeps banners of Shannon’s and Sandquist’s accomplishments in the practice room to remind his girls to keep striving for improvement, and to live up to the standard they both have set. Both Shannon and Sandquist won state titles in their junior and senior seasons.

“Our strength is probably our numbers and depth, and we also have a really good attitude,” Knight said. “The returners are really good at teaching technique, and our young girls are getting better everyday.”

Senior Lola Jasso is one of the top performers on the girls wrestling team. In early December, she participated in a tough Stampede Tournament, where she got fourth place. Jasso originally tried out for the girls soccer team, but after not getting accepted, her coach recommended she join wrestling. She aspires to be the next district champion.

“Wrestling is different from a lot of things, but you should try out,” Jasso said. “Don’t say no to it just because ‘Oh, I’m gonna be touching sweaty people.’ The people there are like family,” said Jasso.

The team doesn’t only give opportunities to the upperclassmen though. Sophomore Brylee Sellars has earned her place on the team after only two semesters of participating. Her freshman year she went to regionals, as well as strengthened relationships she gained and solidified her love for the sport. 

“Wrestling is the best sport I’ve ever joined,” Sellars said.

Both wrestling teams continue working hard at practices, meets and tournaments. They enjoy friendly competition within their own team. The impact and influence Shannon and Sandquist left on our wrestlers continues to show and strengthen the teams.

“Both of them were great and had a great work ethic,” Knight said. “We have our biggest girls team we’ve ever had, while that’s due to them being role models.”