Girls wrestling will have inaugural individual state tournament

IHSA will have an Individual State Tournament for Girls Wrestling for the first time.


Sydney Parker

IHSA hosts the first state tournament for girls wrestling.

The Illinois High School Association announced the inaugural Illinois Girls Individual Tournament on February 25 and 26, 2022. Girls have not had the same number of participants as boys in wrestling, but this announcement has raised interest across females all over the state. The competition will involve classes 1A, 2A, and 3A, as well as a chance for girls to compete against other girls in a more comfortable setting. 

This officially makes Illinois the 25th state to recognize girls wrestling as an individual sport. The announcement undoubtedly created excitement throughout the wrestling community, and junior Caleb Nobiling believes it will expand the sport.

“Girls wrestling is in the Olympics and college so I do not see why it would not be popular in high school,” Nobiling said. “More people will be allowed to wrestle and because females can wrestle other females and I would assume more girls would come out and want to compete.”

Female athletes have shown positive reactions to this as it expands the number of sports they and their peers can participate in; sophomore Jacey Schuler is excited other female athletes have another opportunity to compete.

“It will draw a lot more attention to the sport and will raise awareness and create equality, this should create more girls to come out for the sport and hopefully raise the number of girls competing,” Schuler said.

Others believe that the announcement will not cause the sport to grow as rapidly. Senior Kevin Texis wishes it expands the sport as it is the sport he loves but is not as confident in a fast uprising of participants.

“I don’t think that there will be a large turnout but I wouldn’t be surprised if more came out, some did not join because of the unisex matches but now that they are separated it would not surprise me,” Texis said.

While it is unknown if it will grow as large as boys wrestling, it is a step in the right direction and a good move by the IHSA to allow girls to compete against each other. Bringing women’s wrestling to ACHS proposes an opportunity for more student-athletes. 

My goal is the same as the boys: to teach valuable life lessons through the sport of wrestling, to help each individual accomplish their personal goals, and of course to be the best team in the State,” Former dean and head coach Wilbur Borrero said.

The ACHS wrestling team will be accepting girls until January. Borrero is looking for dedicated, hardworking athletes who also value their education. The athletes should be willing to put in the work to achieve their goals. 

“Can you imagine if we get our girls involved in the sport of wrestling?” Borrero said. “We can get our girls to be noticed and possibly earn a wrestling scholarship to college, we can get them the same recognition as any of the boy wrestlers.”

There are many great opportunities at ACHS, one of which is joining the girls’ wrestling team. If you are thinking about trying something new, this is the perfect opportunity. Reach out to Coach Borrero with any questions.