Wrestling has been a part of Alyssa Boyer's life for almost 10 years and she has taken that passion to the high school level, becoming the first female wrestler in Reed-Custer High School history.
"My parents were talking about it and they asked my brother Zach if he wanted to wrestle. I said I wanted to. I was about seven or eight at the time," said Boyer.
Alyssa started wrestling with the Reed-Custer Knights, continued in middle school and started competing in United States Girls Wrestling Association tournaments in seventh grade.
"I was in basketball and decided my senior year, I wanted to do everything different. Wrestling is something I like, always have," said Boyer.
Her coach Andy Gleixner coached her brother Zach the last four years.
"Her parents have been very supportive. She has been wanting to do it for a few years and wanted to do basketball and wrestling at the same time," said Gleixner.
"She came to me at the beginning of the year and said 'I just want to wrestle this year' which we were fine with it."
Gleixner says it's rare to have a female wrestler but thinks it's great as a coach.
"It's another body in the room. No one says I don't want to wrestle the girl. It's really competitive, keeps it pretty intense in here and keeps everyone working."
"She likes to do it because it's a fun activity and a way to keep working out. This is good training for the girls offseason."
The offseason for high school wrestlers features tournaments across the country and Boyer plans to continue competing in the girls tournaments in the offseason.
"I'm looking forward to watching her keep growing and getting better this season. She's earned a starting spot on varsity at 138 and has done a good job holding her own against the boys," said Gleixner.
"She's taken a couple bumps and bruises along the way and had some tough matches, but you're going to get that with most boys too."
Gleixner wrestled collegiately at MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Ill. and wrestled against girls there.
"We always looked at it as they're on the mat, you're going to wrestle them like a guy. A lot of times for guys it's almost like a lose-lose. If you win, oh you beat a girl and if you lose, you lost to a girl."
There was case that made headlines in Iowa last year when a girl won a high school state wrestling match by forfeit. Her opponent said fighting against girls was against his religion.
"I had one guy use the against his religion excuse in a match a while back, but I have never heard of a religion like that," said Boyer.
The Comets have competed in a handful of tournaments this season and Gleixner says that whether Boyer's won or lost, it has been taken pretty well.
"You're going to get it sometimes where a coach may forfeit the match, but she takes it in stride. She doesn't care who she goes on the mat with, whether it's in practice or a meet. She wants to wrestle tough kids and that will just make her better."
Boyer has been pleased with her start to the season and says the relationship with her teammates is good.
"I think it helps that I have been in wrestling for a long time and grew up with them. It's no different really wrestling girls than guys. I can take it. It's just another teammate."
"I come in here everyday and try to get better. I try to help the people that are new and are going to be here the following year get better."
For more on Boyer, pick up a copy of the Dec. 28 Journal.
After a few years of low turnout, Pacific looks to get its women’s wrestling program back on track with a new crop of six freshmen
Pacific University is one of the few schools in the country that offers a women’s wrestling program for those that want to wrestle at the college level.
Head coach Severin Walsh, now in his fourth season coaching both the men’s and woman’s programs, said in the past he has had a difficult time recruiting female wrestlers, but this year is a different story entirely.
Walsh said that the women’s team is looking much better with a strong squad of seven women on the roster for this season.
“We were fortunate to have such a good freshman class, not only number-wise, but great young women as well,” Walsh said. “We were able to score recruits from Hawaii, California and Washington by reaching out to as many people as possible.”
According to Walsh, the program is always looking for women who have a tough mindset that allows them to be great students and hard-nosed athletes.
Another positive for the women’s team this year was the return of two wrestlers, Andrina Ramos and Jodi Ozaki. Both women are sophomores for Pacific, which helps add experience with the six freshmen who are new to the program.
“I expect big things from our returning girls Andrina and Jodi,” Walsh said. “They have been tremendous with their leadership.”
Ramos, who has sophomore eligibility but is a junior academically, is the eldest player on the team.
“Our coaches did a great job recruiting these girls,” Ramos said. “Women’s wrestling is slowly gaining popularity in the U.S. In Hawaii, women’s wrestling is much more popular. I think that explains why five of the seven girls on our team are from Hawaii.
“Our coaches did a great job recruiting serious, dedicated and committed female wrestlers who will work hard all season.”
As a co-caption with Ozaki, Ramos does her best trying to pick up the girls’ spirits by sending out encouraging text messages to her teammates to ensure them that if they need someone, she is there for support. She said that she knows how hard it was her first year competing and wrestling. and she wants to be there for her team.
“All the girls are very gifted in the classroom, but some chose Pacific over other schools with wrestling for its academics reputation,” Walsh said, adding that he hopes to continue building the program with classes as strong as this year’s.
Currently the women’s wrestling team is in the midst of a three-week break for Christmas, but the Boxers will be back in action on Jan. 6 with a dual meet against Yakima Valley Community College, followed by a dual against Simon Fraser on Jan. 7.
Earlier this month, Pacific made its lone home appearance of the season with matches against Menlo, Yakima Valley CC and Southwestern Oregon CC at the Stoller Center.
Ramos won two of her three matches on the day. She opened the event with a two-round technical fall over Southwestern Oregon’s Alejandra Paez and finished with a close 1-0, 3-3 win over Menlo’s Zhavon Resendez.
Pacific freshman Rustee-Ann Johansen, meanwhile, finished with a 2-2 record on the afternoon. She wrestled two matches in the opening round against Southwestern Oregon CC, earning a win when she pinned the Lakers’ Caroline Crawford in the first round. She closed her day with another pin, finishing off Menlo’s Jeanette Maranjo late in the second round.
Pacific fielded a team of four wrestlers on the day, with freshman Jordyn Lee and Ozaki going winless in their bouts====================================================================================================
By JASON McDANIEL, CHRONICLE CORRESPONDENT
Published 03:45 p.m., Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Katy sent three boys and three girls wrestlers to the state tournament last season, which is nothing to sneeze at.
If you make it to Austin, you're one of the top grapplers in the state - no matter where you finish.
"That was more than we'd sent in several of the recent years here, so we were pretty happy with that, and we came away with one place winner in each gender," Tigers coach Vincent Lowe said.The top girls are two-time state qualifier Ashleigh Fritsche, a senior, junior Brooke Boudoin and sophomore Brianna Perez, who worked hard in the offseason and won The Woodlands tournament.
Fritsche is a scrappy grinder who's never out of a match.
"The key for her is staying healthy and staying focused on the prize at the end, and she's battled some injuries already early on, and that kind of messes with your motivation a bit," Lowe said.
"But if she stays focused through the end of February, she can do pretty well."
The key for the entire Katy team is staying healthy, which they've only recently started to do. They picked up a momentum-building win over the Katy North Duals just before Christmas for a much-needed lift.
The District 19-5A meet is set for Feb. 1-2 at Morton Ranch. Seven Lakes coach Mike Demarchi, who led his boys to the team title last season, said the district race is wide open this season.
But Lowe says the favorite has to be Seven Lakes.
"They won it last year and as the returning champ it's always yours to lose," Lowe said. "(Demarchi) is putting together a pretty good program over there and he's got a lot of numbers to pick from."==================================================================================================
By Logan Malloy For Sun-Times Media December 22, 2011 10:22PM
Lockport’s Haley Augello works out during a February wrestling practice at the school. Augello, a junior, qualified Saturday for the U.S. Olympic Trials. | File photo
Updated: December 23, 2011 2:31AM
For most amateur wrestlers, competing in the Olympic Games is the pinnacle of the sport. Lockport junior Haley Augello finds herself within reach of that apex — as soon as the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Augello earned an Olympic Trial bid with a tenacious display of skills at the Women’s Freestyle U.S. Open on Saturday, in Arlington, Texas.
The top seven from each weight class advanced to the trials, and Augello suspected she would be in the mix. She had a 4-2 record over her first six contests, but all her hopes of making the trials hinged on her seventh and final match of the meet.
“I didn’t even have time to get nervous or scared before that last match,” Augello said. “The tournament was well-run, so my matches came up really fast before I could think about it.”
The 17-year-old was paired against Tiffany Sluik of Jamestown College.
Sluik had only a short break after her previous match. Augello thought her opponent might be more winded than usual, and her strategy was to keep the tempo high.
The tactic worked. Augello felt Sluik wear down as the match went along, narrowly beating her out with a 2-1, 1-0 victory. The win put her in seventh place of the 121-pound weight class, enabling Augello to continue on to the 2012 Women’s Freestyle Olympic Trials.
“Qualifying for the Olympic Trials has always been something we talked about. It’s unreal to have it actually happen,” Augello said. “If I stay focused and keep working hard, I’ll have a good shot at making the 2012 Olympic team.”
Augello’s participation in competitive wrestling dates back nine years. She pinpoints her roots to the day her younger brother Sean, now a sophomore for the Porters wrestling team, came home from his first practice. Similar in size, the two would polish moves on one another, until Augello finally convinced her parents for mat time of her own. Still, even with the hours of practice time, Augello was one of the least experienced at the U.S. Open.
“I’m going to be one of the youngest people on the team,” Augello siad. “I wrestled a lot at the Cadet level (for wrestlers ages 14 to 17) this summer, but I noticed the difference in strength and experience right away at the U.S. Open.”
Since Augello secured her place in the trials, Lockport coach Josh Oster has witnessed Augello further immerse herself in the sport.
“She’s worked hard to get where she’s at,” Oster said. “Not that she wasn’t focused before, but you see a new, even deeper focus that she has going forward to the Olympic Trials.”
While she’s not competing with the Lockport wrestling squad this season, Augello still practices with the team when she’s able. She’s thankful to be a part of such a flexible and unbiased program.
“I’ve known all the guys on the team for a long time,” Augello said. “They’re really supportive of me and women’s wrestling in general. My coaches here have been great, and so has the school in working with me when I miss days to travel for my tournaments.”
Augello’s journey to the 2012 Olympics continues with trials this April at the Hawkeye-Carver Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.==================================================================================================
Story Published: Dec 22, 2011 at 5:51 PM PST
The Valley's mat men always among the best in the state.
Kittitas right up near the top of the 2B rankings.
Granger and Zillah expected to fight for supremacy in the Single-A's.
Ellensburg solid in 2A grappling.
And, in Class 3A, watch out for these guys.
There are certain sports we just associate with certain schools. Sunnyside is all about wrestling.
Jason Moyer "It's the sport. Ya, it's the big deal. We started the year with 130 wrestlers in the room. 100 of them boys, 30 girls. So, we split practices in two. we can't fit them all in one room."
The Grizzlies have a bunch of returning state mat classic veterans....especially in the lower weights where Sunnyside has traditionally excelled. Maybe a litte tougher this winter. prep wrestling in Washington undergoing major weight class changes....just about every division getting a little heavier...where there were seven classes under 145 pounds.....now there are six.....essentially eliminating one lower division.
Sunnyside should be ok in the upper weights too. Senior Miguel Guzman, an alternate for state last year.....this winter expected to finish his high school career on the main mats in Tacoma....and after....
Miguel Guzman "Maybe go to college. Keep wrestling? Maybe. I'm getting a scholarship for track too. OK. Still having fun? Ya."
Sunnyside, the highest ranked 3A team in the valley.....and once again expected to be one of the best in Washington............The Grizzlies' proud tradition rolls on.
Jason Moyer "We've never had a losing season at sunnyside. Never had a losing season. We have 34 state champs. Right now we have a Hall of Fame coach. George Paulus, head coach. A big draw. He knows everything there is to know about wrestling. Big motivator. We just keep reloading year in and year out."
With the Region 3AA duals tournament coming up in Dublin Jan 6-7,
the SCHS Gamecock wrestlers of Caleb White concluded the 2011 portion
of their schedule by participating in the Rebel Invitational on Friday
The team also squared off with Wheeler County and Statesboro on the road Dec. 7.
Unlike an inept Johnson-Savannah wrestling staff the previous weekend, the Gamecock’s entrance into Effingham went very smoothly.
The team’s participation, however, did not go nearly as well as no wrestler claimed even a fourth place and no one registered more than one win.
Gaining pins were Dillon Barnette (120) over Johnson; Lane Boykin (145) over Effingham County; Jared Thompson (152) over Benedictine; Jake Gay (195) over Effingham County; and Adam Austin (220) over South Effingham.
Seth Warren (170) had a decision over Benedictine.
Also included in the wins was Jewel Melvin (113) who picked up her first mat win of the season with a decision over Effingham County. The senior stands at 8-4 on the season, but seven have been forfeits. She is the first female to win a match, in weight class, on the mat in SCHS history.
The team’s trip to Statesboro on Pearl Harbor day went very smoothly.
Auburn senior wrestlers Katrynia Todd and Siao Wilson earned placings at Wednesday's Auburn Mountainview Lady Lion Girls Wrestling Tournament.
Todd, who snagged a state title at 140 pounds last season, took home second place at 145 pounds at the tourney. Todd went 3-1 in matches, winning two by fall and one by a 6-1 decision, before dropping a 3-2 decision to Evergreen's Stephanie Simon in the championship match. Simon finished second at 145 at last season's Mat Classic XXIII.
Wilson, in just her second year on the mat, was third in the 275-pound class, beating Yelm's Allicia Llewellyn with a 3-1 overtime decision in the third-place match. Wilson's only loss in the tourney came at the hands of Enumclaw's KC Moulden, who finished second.
Also competing for the Trojans were Jazmin Sanchezllanes, 130, and Daminne McCormick, 137.
Auburn finished 14th in the team competition with 42 points. Kelso finished first in the 36-team competition with 189 points.
From Auburn Mountainview, returning state competitor Alyssa Aguilar went 2-2 at 112 pounds, but did not place.
Also competing from Auburn Mountainview were Amanda Chung, 118 and Jazmine Aguilar, 137.
The Lions finished 31st with 7 points.
While Miyu Yamamoto was ahead of her time in women's wrestling, in terms of the Olympics, that wasn't such a good thing.
The 37-year-old, a former three-time world champion returning after over seven years away from the mat in a bid to make it to the London Olympics, came up short when she fell in the second round in the women's 48-kilogram class Thursday at the Emperor's Cup All-Japan championships in Tokyo.
"I couldn't wrestle well, it wasn't my style, wasn't my wrestling," Yamamoto said after losing 2-0 (3-1, 1-0) to an opponent half her age, Aichi high schooler Eri Tosaka. "I just dived [on my tackles]. I didn't take a good shot."
Reigning world champion Hitomi Obara earned her first trip to the Olympics when she won the title, defeating Tosaka 2-0 (2-1, 3-0) in the final after posting falls in her three previous matches.
Obara had clinched a berth for Japan by placing in the top six at the world championships in September in Istanbul, where she won an eighth world gold, then filled the spot herself with her second straight national title and seventh overall.
Yamamoto, who won the first of her eight national titles at age 13 in 1987, had retired after capturing her final world gold in 1995. When women's wrestling was added to the Olympic program for the 2004 Athens Olympics, she came back, but failed to win the spot from eventual champion Chiharu Icho, and went back into retirement.
But the Olympic itch just wouldn't go away and Yamamoto, a mother of three who recently ended her third marriage, started training in June in Toronto under Romanian-born Canadian coach Nick Johnson. She returned to Japan earlier this month.
"With such a caliber of athlete, I didn't have to teach her, just give her the belief [in herself]," Johnson said. "There was not much to do technically."
In her first competition since February 2004, she won the title at the Japan Women's Open in October to qualify for the All-Japan tournament, then placed third at last month's New York Holiday Classic in New York.
"I did the best training," Yamamoto said. "I prepared 100 percent. I just didn't wrestle well."
The Olympics has long been a sore point in the Yamamoto family. Father Ikuei, a three-time Greco-Roman national champion, never made an Olympic team, and younger sister and former world champion Seiko has seen her path blocked successively by eventual gold medalists Saori Yoshida and Kaori Icho. She will try again to dethrone Icho in the 63-kilogram class today.
"I guess the Olympics hates me," said Miyu Yamamoto, who added she will continue wrestling despite the setback. "I'm not going to retire. I'm going to be world champion again."