Wrestling Her Way to Victory

Along with football, varsity wrestling has the most extreme male to female player ratio. Very rarely do girls try out for wrestling, let alone join the team. However, sophomore Samantha Kandle not only made the JV team, but even moved up to the varsity team.
“Someone told me ‘Oh, you can’t do that,’” Kandle said. “I wanted to prove them wrong.”
Like any other varsity sport, it was not something to take lightly. Expecting it to be easy would be a mistake.
“You get out what you get in,” Kandle said. “You have to commit to make it worth it.”
Kandle said she expected wrestling to be no different from other co-ed sports in the way people treated each other.
“Coming in, I expected everybody to respect me even though I’m a girl,” Kandle said. “I never encountered any difficulties.”
There are inherent physical risks involved with wrestling. Kandle suffered a concussion toward the end of the season.
“My head hit the ground, and their body landed on it,” Kandle said. “I finished the match and wrestled another.”
Kandle went to the trainer the next day for a hurting neck and failed the standard concussion test.
“The concussion is not going to keep me away next year,” Kandle said. “I won’t stay away just because I got hurt this year.”
Kandle said she enjoyed the sport despite her injury.
“It’s definitely a very competitive sport,” Kandle said. “Like I said, you get out what you put in. The more you practice, the easier it gets, and the more you improve.”
The ratio of boys to girls in the other varsity teams were roughly the same: slim to none, or fewer.
“I wrestled one girl, and that was in JV,” Kandle said. “Once I got bumped up into varsity, I only wrestled guys.”
Having finished the season, Kandle said she would do it again.
“I thought it would be fun, and it was definitely an interesting experience,” Kandle said.