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Girls wrestlers ready for first IHSA tournament

June 25, 2021
Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 8:43 PM CST
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PEORIA (25 NEWS) - A girl wrestling use to be a rare sight, but not anymore.

“My coaches told me only a couple years ago they started allowing girls to wrestle,” Jaida Johnson, Richwoods freshman, said. “And like my school tournaments, there wouldn’t be a lot of girls, may be one, may be two, but when I came here, I didn’t expect it to be this many people.”

That’s because high school girls wrestling is growing rapidly in Illinois, so much so that more than 160 girls competed in their own state tournament this week.

“When I started there weren’t many girls in tournaments and now this is a huge tournament that I get to be a part of and it’s pretty awesome,” Audrey Driskell, Pekin senior, said.

High school girls wrestling has grown so much throughout the state in the past few years that it finally gets its first ever IHSA state tournament next year, something that everybody here is looking forward to.

“I’m so glad it finally got done and I’m happy that it is,” Driskell said.

“I can’t wait to wrestle next year,” Johnson said. “I just feel like it’s going to be so fun.”

These girls are blazing a trail and are showing the next generation they can do anything they want to.

“A lot of people look down on girls for doing certain things, like things that boys normally do,” Arie Johnson, Richwoods junior, said. “They don’t see it appropriate or don’t see it as possible but I’m proof that it’s possible.”

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