SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Are you up for the match? These girls are!
History was made on Friday inside SRC Arena and Events Center at Onondaga Community College. The school played host to the first-ever statewide Girls Wrestling Invitational.
More than 200 of them from high schools across the state were at Friday’s competition. Some coming as far as Long Island, others as close as Homer. Only a few wrestlers from each team were chosen to compete in the historic girls only tournament, like Zoey Jewett.
“I am feeling good. I am feeling ready to go out there and wrestle,” said Jewett.
Jewett is a freshman at General Brown High School in Jefferson County. She has been wrestling since she was 5-years-old.
“I was just around it when I was little so that’s all I’ve ever really done,” said Jewett.
Jewett says her father was a wrestler at Watertown High School. His passion for the sport inspired her to take it up too.
“I’ve been working in the varsity room, just going over my weaknesses and getting stronger at them,” said Jewett.
Even though Friday isn’t a state championship, New York State Public Health Athletic Association is working on making that happen in the next two to three years.
“This is the fastest growing sport in the country and we’re seeing evidence of that here in New York State,” said Dr. Robert Zayas, Executive Director of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.
Coach Michael Hartle, who’s been coaching boys wrestling for over 10 years, is also doing it now for the girls at General Brown High School.
“They’re not used to being in a sport that’s so confrontational. So that’s the biggest thing for us is learning how to be coach-able through those moments and developing ourselves with attitude and discipline through wrestling,” said Hartle.
Hartle says they’ve been practicing, in preparation for Friday’s match.
“We’ve been practicing everyday after school and putting our time and repetitions and trying to build up our knowledge of wrestling and prepare for this tournament,” said Hartle.
On Saturday SRC Arena will host the Boys Wrestling Dual Meet Championship.
Click here for details on the event and ticket information.