A Girl Among Guys

Lydia Galbreath, Author

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    When you think of wrestling, a girl is not normally the first thing that comes to mind. That didn’t stop ALMS seventh-grader, Daja Days, from joining the team. She overcame the stereotypes and is very happy to be a part of the team. Here at Andrew Lewis, everyone who tries out for wrestling makes the team, so Daja took advantage of that.

Wrestling is a sport involving grappling type techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grappling holds. The sport can either be for show or genuinely competitive. Another term for school wrestling is “folkstyle” wrestling. Wrestling is the sixth-most common sport among high school boys. The 19th century in America was when wrestling was first invented, and it gained popularity in the 20’s.

   When interviewed, Daja Days was asked, “Why did you decide to join the team in the first place?” She said, “I thought it was cool.” She was also asked, “Have any guys not wrestled you because you were a girl?” She responded with, “Not during the matches, but at practice, all the time. Some are scared of me and the others don’t want to hurt me.” I think that her being on the team is very inspirational and motivates girls everywhere to realize that just because a boy traditionally does something, that doesn’t mean that a girl can’t do it too.

    At first, many of the boys on the team didn’t care for Daja too much when she joined. About two weeks later, though, everyone liked her much better than before. One of the struggles for Daja was trying not to get hurt by all the guys. I can also see in the guy’s perspective how fighting a girl would be hard. They have been told their whole lives not to touch certain parts of a girl, but in wrestling, they have to. Another thing is that if the guy beats the girl, they get looked upon as rude. While if they lose, then they have the struggle of “being beaten by a girl.” These are some of the many challenges that Daja has to overcome to be a good wrestler and a part of the team.

   Daja Days is the first girl wrestler that Andrew Lewis has ever had. This season several girls were intending to join the team, but later changed their minds. Daja was the only one who stayed. Girls are becoming more and more common in wrestling all around America. Nationally, there were 11,496 girls wrestling in high school in 2014-15.

All the wrestlers practice every day after school which proves how diligent they are. Daja Days has had a pretty good season, and in every match, she tried her best to defeat her opponent. I think that no matter if she wins or loses her matches, she will always be an inspiration to all girls in America, anyone who wants to do something different, and much more. So I’d just like to encourage anyone reading this to try something new, you never know how you will like it, or who you might influence.

 

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A Girl Among Guys