Glenbard West’s New Girls’ Wrestling Team

Coach Nicholas Posegay–who also coaches the boys’ team–is extremely excited about having a girls’ wrestling team at West. He mentions that girls have been a part of boys’ wrestling for the past decade, but as soon as the IHSA approved the program, Coach Posegay jumped on the opportunity to get a girls’ wrestling team organized at West. Now it’s set up so that girls can wrestle each other and compete in their own competitions which he says is “a win for everyone”. 

He gives credit to the many “brave pioneers who are willing to give [wrestling] a try” for the quick growth of the program. In particular, he referred to junior Ani Navarro as a “go-getter” who helped spread the word about the program. Eager to explore an opportunity she was unfamiliar with, Ani “saw the opportunity and immediately wanted to take it”. 

Another pioneer of the program, junior Ella Rejman, speaks on what she hopes will be the larger impact of having a girls’ wrestling program; she hopes that it will be empowering to women by providing an example of how women can enjoy and be successful in such a unique sport like wrestling. She hopes to learn various skills and build on them throughout the season while making and cultivating new friendships.

Junior Ari Hernandez–who joined wrestling because of her brothers’ involvement in the sport–is direct in acknowledging her goal to win matches, but also emphasizes her desire to “get better every day”. She reflects on the excitement of her first match. She remembers that she initially wasn’t going to participate, but once she saw the girls start wrestling she was “motivated to get in, so [she] asked the coach if [she] could get the last match”. 

Although she didn’t win, she found motivation from her team to continue to work and improve her skills every day. Coach Posegay also pointed out that the team will initially “lose a lot of matches” but with that in mind, that doesn’t stop the girls’ appetite for developing as athletes.

Despite the various reasons for joining the team and various goals of each member, one thing that was constant for each team member was their favorite part of the sport: the team. Ari Hernandez acknowledged the challenges that come with being a wrestler but is grateful to have the team there as a support system. Ani Navarro also identified the team as being her favorite part of the sport: “There’s a lot of brave people doing it and everyone is so kind and wonderful to be around”. Ella added onto that sentiment saying “all the girls are super supportive of one another” especially considering the fact that this is a new experience for all of them.

Wrestling has been around for thousands of years, with the earliest traces dating back to about 3000 BCE in Mesopotamia and Egypt. It had also been a part of the ancient Olympics Games since around 700 BCE with athletes like 6-time Olympic champion Milon of Croton participating (United World Wrestling). 

The sport was introduced to the modern Olympic Games in 1904, and–according to the UWW–after an entire century, women’s participation was acknowledged for the first time in the 2004 Athens Games. USA Wrestling statistics show that there are over 160,000 Americans involved in wrestling today. A large portion of those people are high school girls competing in local and state competitions. Now, Glenbard West is going to become part of this growing community with its first ever girls’ wrestling team. 

This new addition to Glenbard West is no exception to the primary value of putting the team before the individual. Needless to say, the entire Glenbard West community is thrilled about the new addition and is looking forward to a future of growth and success.