Wrestling since her sophomore year, senior Grace Campbell is one of two girls on the Steinbrenner high school wrestling team. She originally joined the sport after looking for another way to get in shape and try something new and she soon became attached and became a part of the family.
Being one of few girls among the team has its ups and downs throughout the season. One of the difficulties is the muscle and strength difference between her and her teammates.
“…pure bulk is what most of the guys are, so I have trouble with going strength-wise, so I have to fix up my strength and speed. So, I usually have to do different moves than other guys to make things work,” said Campbell.
But the size difference has had no effect on how the team treats each other. The team has shown itself to be supportive of each other like a close-knit family throughout their time together. Campbell talked about how everyone is encouraging no matter what, even saying how people from other teams are not excluded from the support.
“We support each other. Especially when we know how hard the losses are cause we’ve all gone through it, so we’re just like, trying to bolster each other up,” said Campbell.
Campbell would like to continue playing in college and already has two out-of-state offers. She also mentioned that if anything she would really look forward to playing on a club team and wouldn’t mind staying coed.
She originally had doubts about how she would be treated when she first joined, worried that it might be different being one of the only girls, but instead found everyone on the team to be incredibly helpful whenever she was feeling down. Her coaches have been working hard with her and doing their best to try to get her to any tournament possible.
“Our coaches are really supportive, with Coach Noble every time I say that there’s a girl’s tournament coming up, he’s asking, ‘Where is it? When is it? Let’s see if we can get a coach out there with you,’ and things like that,” said Campbell.
Campbell does have concerns for the regulations for girls wrestling, noting how girls wrestling is unsanctioned in Florida under the Florida Highschool Student Athlete Association (FHSAA). With the girls wrestling being unsanctioned a lot of the rules enforced in boys’ tournaments are disregarded in the girls, such as hair, mouth guards, time for matches, and the overall amount of matches they go through and so on. She hopes for the girls’ matches to become sanctioned in the future and looks forward to seeing when they become so.
Gianna DeMalteris // Staff Writer