DES MOINES, Iowa — Wrestling is one of Iowa’s oldest and most popular high school sports. Now fans will be treated to a historic season.
For the first time, girls wrestling teams are hitting the mats across the state. In Des Moines, the team will consist of athletes from all five high schools.
The Des Moines School District’s first girls wrestling coach believes the girls are ready for the moment that’s bigger than wins and losses. “I just think it is really cool to see the girls and be able to be a part of history. Honestly for not just wrestling but for Iowa itself,” said DMPS head coach Samantha Bush. She added, “We just want to be better than we were yesterday. As long as we see steady progress and the girls feel good about their progress and their success then I feel good about our progress and our success.”
Monday was the first official day for teams across the state to begin practice. In January the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union officially sanctioned girls high school wrestling for the 2022-2023 school year. While coach Bush and the team may be early in the process of laying the foundation of what they hope can become a storied tradition of success, Des Moines East High School senior Kayte Yaw hopes to cement her legacy immediately.
“I want to get first at 145 at state. That’s my goal,” said Yaw as she pointed to the list of wrestlers’ names on the wall that have made it to state. She added, “It is interesting to have all the schools here because they were considered my competition like not too long ago but all of us coming together will help the sport come together and get started.”
Bush spent weeks recruiting athletes from all five public Des Moines high schools. She says so far, 47 girls have signed up to compete for the DMPS girls wrestling team.
The first official competition matches can take place as soon as Monday, November 14th.