HENDERSON COUNTY, NC (WLOS) — West Henderson High School’s female wrestling team hosted its first dual meet Tuesday night. It was the first dual match of its kind held in the state of North Carolina.
The high school is one of four in the state with a female wrestling team.
The rules on the mat haven’t changed, just who can play.
The girls at West Henderson are flipping the way wrestling has always been done.
“They’re doing everything the guys do, and they don’t back down from that,” coach Michael Connelly said.
Some on this year’s team like Marissa Connelly, the coach’s daughter, wrestled with the boys last year.
“Or we’re live wrestling, and they’re like, ‘Oh, I am sorry.’ They’d apologize like 50 million times, and it got to the point where I was like if you apologize again you’ll get punched in the face,” Connelly said.
Others are just starting out.
“It’s the hardest sport I’ve ever done,” said Hailee Orr, a senior on the team.
Figuring out how to handle the new faces has almost proven more difficult than the sport.
“There’s not a female hair rule or a male rule, it’s just the hair rule,” the ref said to some of the wrestlers.
The training is all the same.
“Five days of practice, three hours of practice everyday,” said Mickey Allen, a sophomore on the team.
Coach Connelly said the way the girls act toward each other is the only big difference from the guys.
“I guess they’re making friends, too, along the way, because these other females, they’re new to this, too,” Connelly said.
However, that doesn’t mean they’re not competitive.
“I like to pull halves on people to try to pin them,” Orr said.
They’re going to wrestle whether people like it or not.
“You can’t really argue with who’s set in that girls can’t wrestle mindset. You just kind of have to show them what you’re capable of,” Allen said.