Girls wrestling takes down competition


Photo courtesy of Taylor Miranda

In March, girls wrestling will be wrapping up their second season ever at Cape Coral High School. The girls have built up a stronger team since last year, and this year, are aiming for states.

Trevor Elliot is the girls and boys wrestling coach, and has been working with other coaches around the state for over five years to make the girls wrestling an official sport in Florida high schools.

“Wrestling is a sport anyone can play,” Elliot stated. “There’s so many girls that have to wrestle against the boys, and I thought that wasn’t fair.”

Last year, when recruitment started for the season, a decent amount of interest was there. However, once the season started, there were only two girls who signed up for the team.

This year, there are six girls on the team, compared to the huge size of the boys team, with about 46 members in total.

“It’s been on and off because there’s girls that want to do it, but are scared,” said junior Taylor Miranda. Miranda is the only girl in the school to continue to wrestle for her second year.

“She [Taylor] worked all summer long and really practiced a lot, so she’s
really come a long way,” said Elliot, “I expect her to go far, and go to states.” Miranda was especially committed to continuing wrestling, as last year, she nearly qualified for states, “That’s when I thought ‘well no I can’t quit, I have to win,’” stated Miranda.

Yanelis Martinez and Terezia Mihaly are both sophomores who started wrestling this year in November. “My dad did a lot of contact sports and I liked when he did them with me, so I wanted to join a team sport like this,” Mihaly stated.

She had previously boxed before joining the wrestling team, and has since enjoyed wrestling on the school team and competing in meets with her teammates.

“I like the team, that’s probably my favorite part. They’re all really nice,” Miranda said. On top of the boys team that practices with them everyday, Miranda has gotten to spend time with and wrestle more girls than the previous year.

“They’re like the pioneers of the sport right now,” Elliot said. “These girls are really focused and it’s fun to work with them because they’re the first ones to be doing it.”

Martinez, like Mihaly, decided to join the team because of her dad, who used wrestle. Learning moves such as the tilt, and other skills needed to wrestle has pushed Martinez to do her best.

“I like that it motivates you and you strive to be a better person every time,” Martinez stated.

After the struggle to form the team, the next task was to spread the word. Their ongoing struggle is to be taken seriously in their sport.

“I feel like they underestimate it [girls wrestling]”, Miranda stated. “You still have to do all the same. You still do all the conditioning, the two mile runs, the sprints and everything like that. When you’re going up against a girl in your weight class that girl is probably just as strong as you so it’s just like a boy going up against a boy in his weight class.”

“Wrestling can better a student physically, mentally, and with their chances in college, according to Elliot, “It was really good for them to have the chance and opportunity because you get scholarships to go college.”

Cape High will host a tournament with wrestling teams from all around the state of Florida on February 1st, 2023. From there, the girls could have the chance to advance to states, with continued hard work and dedication.

“I’d like to see the girls we have advance be a state champion. That really brings you up and makes you look cool,” Elliot said.