Girls on the mat

A new side to wrestling


Photo Courtesy of Millard West Activities Twitter

The Millard West Girls Wrestling team takes on a dual with Marian. With this being the first year of the team they hope to improve and better their skills throughout the season. “My goal for the whole team is to better themselves every day,” senior Macy Klein said. “Wrestling is demanding, physically and mentally, and I believe that it will make all of us exceptionally better people and leaders. It will show, and has shown, that each of us are strong, capable and resilient no matter the circumstances.”

Joseph Ebmeier, Staff Reporter

This past spring the NSAA sanctioned a new sport that provides girls across the state an opportunity to showcase their talents on the wrestling mat. The introduction of this new sport means many of the girls on the team do not have much experience with the sport of wrestling. The team consists of nine girls, many of whom have not wrestled prior to this season.

In their most recent meet, the Wildcats competed in the 2021 Council Bluffs Wrestling Classic which featured many top teams from all across the country. Millard West took seven wrestlers to the meet who competed across four different weight classes.

“All of the girls on the team didn’t have any experience when they came in,” coach Lynn Sorich said. “A few of them had dance and some physical activity like basketball, but none of them actually had wrestling experience.”

The lightest Wildcat wrestler competing was freshman Nevaeh Hascall who competed in the 126 pound weight class. She received a bye in her first match before two losses bounced her from the competition. In the 145 pound weight class, junior Madeline Shepherd also received a first round bye, however, she forfeited her next three matches due to a medical reason. Senior Macy Klein competed in the 152 pound weight class. Klein won her first match before losing her next two, winning her fourth match, and losing her fifth to yield her an eighth place finish, earning her eight points for the Wildcats.

“It was truly an incredible experience,” Klein said. “I had only wrestled four times before this, every time getting pinned way before the match was over. I worked so hard, and it didn’t show when it came down to it. Saturday, when it did, and I pinned someone instead of getting pinned for the first time it made me feel like the hard work actually paid off. I did only win two matches, getting pinned the other three times, but it’s an improvement and I tried my hardest.”

Millard West had three wrestlers competing in the 165 pound weight class. Freshman Lauren Sash had the most success in this weight class as she went 4-1 during her matches, earning her a third place overall finish and earning a total of 22 points for the Wildcats. Senior Tierney White lost her first match, before winning two straight, and then losing her fourth match which was not enough to place or earn points for Millard West. The struggles continued for junior Alicia Ponce who dropped three straight matches after her first round bye, which also did not place or earn any points.

“Since the very beginning when they first started, they have really come a long way,” Sorich said. “They are really catching on and they are really starting to come into their own as far as being able to execute the moves.”

The final Wildcat wrestler competing was junior Julia McKlem who took on the 185 pound weight class. McKlem won her first match in less than a minute, however, she lost her next three matches, giving her a sixth place finish and earning Millard West seven more points.

When the scores were counted, the Wildcats ended up with a total of 38 points. This gave them a 13th place finish out of the 26 teams competing. The meet was won by the Washburn Rural High School team competing out of Topeka, Kansas.

As the season continues on, the Millard West Girls Wrestling team will continue to improve and perfect newly learned skills as they hope to capture the first ever girls state wrestling title.