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Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

Young girls wrestling team looks to continue streak of success

Over the past two years, Yutan wrestling has turned out quite a few successes, especially when it comes to the girls team. After losing two major contributors to those successes with Aubrie and Alexis Pehrson, however, the Yutan girls wrestling team looks to prove to everyone that they can be just as successful on their own. 

“It’s awesome that [the girls] got to learn from the Pehrsons and kind of learn what championship wrestling is, so I’m excited to see them take over,” said assistant coach Michael Swanson.

From left to right, freshman Amalea Vaughn-Lantzer, sophomore Jordyn Campbell, freshman Leah Thompson, sophomore Nicole Wacker and freshman Ella Henkel pose for a picture after their wrestling meet at Bennington. Four of the five girls placed at the meet. (Courtesy Photo)

One of the ways that the girls plan on “taking over” is by putting in the work before the season starts. 

“We do lots of conditioning, just making sure you get your body right and are eating right,” said sophomore Jordyn Campbell, who is a returning state medalist. 

Like any other sport, wrestling requires intense training to become prepared for the upcoming season. However, it can be challenging to get good practice because there are only five wrestlers on the girls team. As a result, the girls practice with the boys team. Swanson believes that being in the same room as the boys will be extremely beneficial for the girls as they prepare for the upcoming season. 

“I like that we’re able to have the boys and the girls in the same room, and that way our upper echelon athletes are really pushing everybody to keep going and not take any breaks or get soft,” said Swanson. “I love that we have the opportunity to have them all in the same room working as one big whole group on getting tougher and having a better year for everybody.”

Because all of the girls on the team have different experience levels, a better year looks different for each of them. Campbell believes that this entails medaling again at the state competition. 

“The most broad goal would be to do better at state than I did last year,” said Campbell. “Last year I got fifth, and I would just really like to beat myself in that aspect.”

For sophomore Nicole Wacker, who is in her second year of wrestling, working on her mentality is her goal for the season. 

“Mentally, I think I was just more nervous last year and always thought it’d be really hard and not know if I could do it, but just not having that mindset anymore will help,” said Wacker. 

Freshman Leah Thompson works to take down her Conestoga opponent. Thompson won the match by a pin. (Maddie Bailiff)

In addition to the returning sophomores Campbell and Wacker, the girls wrestling team picked up three incoming freshmen. One of those freshmen, Ella Henkel, is excited for the opportunity to prove herself at the high school level.

“People used to tell me that it would be hard to start wrestling so late in my life,” said Henkel, who started wrestling as an eighth grader. “I want to prove to them that even when it’s hard, I can still be successful.”

Overall, the entire girls wrestling program, whether it be the wrestlers themselves or their coaches, are ready to take the season on with full force. 

“It’s fun seeing the girls strive to want to be in the top ten, to want to not just be out there but to try to get on the podium and really have that drive to want to beat the girls who are standing in their ways,” said Swanson. 

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About the Contributors
Reagan Wilson
Reagan Wilson, Senior writer
Reagan Wilson is a senior and in her second year of journalism.  She enjoys writing editorials.  Outside journalism, Reagan is involved in volleyball, basketball, cheer, one-act, musical, speech, NHS and FBLA.
Maddie Bailiff
Maddie Bailiff, Sophomore writer
Maddie Bailiff is a sophomore and in her second year of journalism.  She enjoys writing, being with family and spending time with friends.  Her favorite part of Journalism is taking pictures and writing stories. 
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