High school girl’s wrestling is now a reality in Missouri

One sport I never thought I would hear introduced as a Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) sanctioned activity has become a reality this winter. The sport, wrestling, is not new. The fact that girls have been allowed to participate on the boy’s team is not even new. What is new is the introduction of girl’s wrestling as its own sanctioned sport.
Last season, MSHSAA recorded 108 girls who chose to participate on its high school boy’s wrestling programs. This winter, MSHSAA has separated the two genders and even have divided the state into four districts for the postseason events.
While its introduction hit me like a takedown to the mat, after much thought and consideration, I am primarily in favor of the addition.
Schools in our area who are competing in girl’s wrestling include Branson, Cassville, Diamond, Monett, Neosho, Nevada, Seneca and Webb City. Will more Big 8 Conference schools fall in line? It is really hard to tell but at least the option is now made available.
If I voice my biggest concern to this being offered in Missouri high schools, it would have to be the possibility of comprimising another winter sport for girls, basketball, which already is spiraling in the wrong direction when it comes to participation numbers.
Many programs in southwest Missouri, including a large number of Big 8 Conference schools do not have enough girls involved in basketball to field a freshmen and, in some cases, even a junior varsity team. Girl’s wrestling may take away enough winter athletes that some schools would have to consider dropping girl’s basketball all-together. That proposition scares me and, to be honest, embarrasses me.
For the Big 8 Conference, the recent expansion from eight schools to 14 was touted as an opportunity to provide more conference sports and this is perhaps the first by-product of the growth. I like high school students getting as many opportunities as possible while in their four years, so I am still going to support the newly sanctioned sport.
I really never thought I would see it, but I look forward to experiencing it in the years to come in the Big 8 Conference.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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