AL, TJ launching combined girls wrestling team


Submitted by Quinn Velder

Girls’ wrestling is not something many people have an interest in but the interest has improved over the years. This sport has always been a boys’ sport until last year officially. In previous seasons girls’ have wrestled with the boy’s teams. Since last year girl wrestling was sanctioned in Iowa. Abraham Lincoln High School and Thomas Jefferson High School girls’ wrestling teams are decided to team up this year to become as strong as they can. This was and still is a huge deal to a lot of women. According to the girl’s wrestlers at Abraham Lincoln High School, they have struggled so hard but at the same time came so far. Emily Summers and Kassandra (Bella) Hirsch are two girls that have put their strength, effort, and time into this sport to be where they are today. 

Emily Summers has been a wrestler for 3 years. Emily was never into wrestling until her brother, Warren Summers, who was a wrestler, started telling the coaches and other teammates that she was going to wrestle that upcoming season. Emily herself was not too excited about it but she figured, why not give it a shot? 

“At the end of the season I ended up liking the sport and wanted to pursue it in my future,” Summers said.

In the years Emily has wrestled there had never really been a girl wrestling team. They’ve always been with the boys but now that it’s sanctioned they’re hoping to get enough girls to match other schools’ girls’ teams. The day girl wrestling got sanctioned Summers said that she was pumped up.

“I was super excited and was looking forward to this upcoming season because of it,” Summers said, “I am nervous but not nervous about this season. There will be so many new girls who don’t have much experience.” 

The biggest struggle that Abraham Lincoln girl wrestlers have had over the years is “having to compete with the girls from other schools when they have 30+ girls and we only have 3-5,” Summers said.

Hirsch has been a wrestler for 2 years. Bella decided to wrestle because she wanted the challenge.

Not only did Bella want to take on the challenge but she also had people who wanted her to do it and pushed her to get to where she is now. When girl’s wrestling got sanctioned,

“I was enthusiastic and I feel like it made me more motivated for this year, but I and a lot of other people didn’t really know what it meant for the team,” Hirsch said.

She now understands that it means a new opportunity for girls. Bella is super hopeful for this upcoming season. While she said last season had a lot of tension, and they didn’t really work as a family, she’s hoping everybody can move past last season, become a family, and be successful with Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson schools are combining. 

“Not having our own team was rough and made me less motivated and it was hard competing  with the boys, but this year we have our own team and I’m super motivated and ready to see my progress and improve at the sport,” Hirsch said.

Coach Michael Childers has been involved with women’s wrestling for 2 years. He said he’s seen a lot of struggle but also a lot of improvements within girls’ wrestling.

One of the biggest struggles Childers has seen within girls’ wrestling is, “some schools struggle with getting girls out because before they had boys wrestling to lean on and now they have their own teams,” Childers said.

Childers said he has also seen a lot of improvements.  

“The competition has gotten better and better as girls have advanced. More girls are coming out and there are more women coaches,” Childers said. 

Girls’ wrestling has worked very hard to get to where they are today and become official.

“I was excited for all females at least around the states who now get recognized for their hard work and motivation,” Childers said about the girls getting sanctioned. 

To find more information about girls wrestling you can look at