ST. GEORGE — In November of 2019, the UHSAA Board of trustees voted to officially sanction girls wrestling for the 2020-2021 season. Fast forward almost a year and athletes and coaches are beginning to prepare for the upcoming wrestling schedule in the winter.
On Aug. 11, the Washington County School District approved the plan to sanction girls wrestling and are moving ahead with the sport. The plan was unanimously approved by the board.
During the meeting, Craig Hammer spoke about the struggles with determining weight classifications but said that they are working on the details. The girls teams will practice with the boys and Hammer also spoke about how popular the sport is in the area.
A big focus of the conversation was providing the opportunity for the girls to participate and seeing it grow. Hammer likened it to the first season of girls golf, where there were not many players but the following year the rosters were full.
“I’m a firm believer that whatever you feed, it grows,” Lowry said. “I think it’s going to be good for some of these girls and now they’ve got lessons in life they will never lose. It’s not about the sport of wrestling, it’s what the sport of wrestling teaches. It teaches you resiliency and it’s a tough sport. The more we feed it, the more it will grow and it’ll become as big as it is in other states.”
Lowry mentioned that in California, Nevada and other states across the country, the sport of girls wrestling has a big turnout. The sport being sanctioned by the UHSAA is exciting for girls wrestling athletes across the state and Southern Utah.
Lowry mentioned that each school in the area will have about two or three girls but the possibility for growth is there. Canyon View and Water Canyon (Hilldale) have two of the bigger programs in Southern Utah, fielding closer to 10 girls each in comparison to other schools.
As for what the rest of the region will look like this season, Lowry was honest.
“It’s going to look watered down but it’s got to start somewhere,” Lowry said.
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