This winter, a new sport will be part of the activities program of the Minot high school; girls wrestling.
This will be the first time that the North Dakota High School Activities Association has sanctioned girls’ wrestling as its own sport. Previously, girls who wanted to participate in high school wrestling in the state had to compete with boys. This comes a year before Minot State University introduced the NCAA North Dakota Women’s First Team Wrestling in fall 2022.
In the first year of high school girls’ wrestling, there will be no distinction between class A and class B as all participating schools will compete in the same class. According to the NDHSAA website, 38 schools besides Minot are listed as having a women’s wrestling team this coming season.
Meanwhile, Minot High’s assistant men’s wrestling coach Mitch Meyer has taken on the assignment to start Magi’s girls’ program from scratch. Having been involved in wrestling for many years both as a student-athlete and as a coach, Meyer says his number one goal is to eliminate the stigma of wrestling as an activity only for athletes. boys and create a culture of sports appreciation.
“The first thing I have to do is just get the girls into the wrestling room and encourage them to participate.” Meyer told the Minot Daily News. “There are so many misconceptions about wrestling, but when you break it down, all the movements are the same regardless of weight and gender. Once I have a group of student-athletes who learn to love the sport, success in the program will take itself.
According to Meyer, the college competition will be made up of girls in grades 7 to 12 and there will be 14 weight classes ranging from 100 to 250 pounds. Initially, Meyer expected 15 to 20 student-athletes to be part of the team’s participants. However, the coach says around 32 girls have expressed interest in trying for the team so far. Team Magi will participate in their first team practice Monday at Jim Hill Middle School.
As for the schedule, Minot’s girls plan to mirror her wrestling schedule for the boys as much as possible. However, participating in triangular tournaments and tournaments like the boys’ team can prove difficult at first. Minot’s first double encounter of the season is set to take place in Williston on November 23.
With no training time scheduled until next week, Meyer’s expectations for the inaugural women’s wrestling season remain unknown. Nonetheless, the veteran high school coach believes there is great potential with the idea of adding girls’ wrestling to the list of school winter sports activities.
“When girls who want to play sports in high school have to compete with boys in wrestling or football, for example, the number of girls participating is reduced. But now that they have their own space to compete against each other, I think you’ll see that number of entries increase. Women’s wrestling is one of the fastest growing sports in the country and I am very happy to be a part of this process ”, Meyer adds.