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Girls Wrestling Looks to Grapple With First Season

Let%27s+Roll%3A+Senior+Katherine+Jern+prepares+for+an+epic+match+in+the+new+Girls+Wrestling+Club.
Let's Roll: Senior Katherine Jern prepares for an epic match in the new Girls Wrestling Club.

Let's Roll: Senior Katherine Jern prepares for an epic match in the new Girls Wrestling Club.

Olivia Chewning

Olivia Chewning

Let's Roll: Senior Katherine Jern prepares for an epic match in the new Girls Wrestling Club.

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North Atlanta has a new sport to add to its athletic program that’s more unique than most: girls wrestling. However, while they should be focused on securing takedowns and throwing brutal pins, the biggest worry of the team is expanding from one member to a competitive squad as well as finding suitable competition.  

The squad’s solo member is senior Kate Jern, who’s founded the team in interest of expanding into a womens sport for wrestling. Coach Williams Hutchings will be leading the squad into their second year in existence, and is determined to create a name for the new program as well as bring light to the sport for women. “It’s such a new sport and at this stage we just need to focus on recruiting more members and solidifying ourselves,” said Hutchings. “I see a lot of promise in this sport and I want to create a winning culture.”

The upcoming wrestling season begins in October, where competition will be steep battling against regional foes such as Riverwood, Cambridge and Pope. For the girls squad, the biggest feat is finding teams to compete against due to the lack of girls teams to play against.

Jern wants to change the stigma that comes with the sport of wrestling and start a new trend of girls wrestling teams, not only in North Atlanta, but throughout the region. “Not many people know that we even have formed a team,” she said. “I’m passionate about creating a bigger platform for us to be able to have competition to face off against.”

Practice is held everyday in the gym, and due to the shortage of members, Jern practices with the boys wrestling team as well. Despite the lack of availability when it comes to competitions, she enjoys the challenge that comes with the higher level environment that comes with training with the established boys team, as well as the skills that she’s able to learn and incorporate into her game. “Training with the guys is super fun for me, being able to take them down and show that I even though I am a girl I can still compete on their level and better,” said Jern. “Plus, beating them and making them cry makes it all worth it in the end for me.”

 There are a lot of challenges ahead for girls wrestling at North Atlanta. But no matter what the obstacle, Jern said she’s ready to take all comers — and all challenges — to the mat.

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