This Sunday, Andover Wrestling will host the first ever all-girls’ tournament among New England prep schools. According to Head Wrestling Coach Rich Gorham, 20 wrestlers from eight schools are expected to participate.
According to Gorham, Andover Wrestling has a history of strong female participation, continuously having girls on the team since 1993. Current Coach Kassie Archambault ’06 made league history as the first girl to place at an interschols tournament after claiming second place in the Class A Interscholastic Tournament in 2004.
She is also the first female coach among New England prep schools, according to Gorham.
Among the four girls currently in the Wrestling program, Varsity wrestler Alyssa Augustin ’15 toppled all the other girls in the league as the girls’ New England Champion last year.
The tournament will both serve as valuable game experience for the girls and increase awareness about wrestling’s co-ed nature.
“We have done many things as a school to move away from the whole notion that wrestling is a ‘boys’’ sport. If you look on the website, all of the other team pages say BV or GV, whereas wrestling is just listed as Varsity or JV,” said Archambault.
“I try to talk to junior girls’ dorms about wrestling as a winter sport option,” she continued. “I tell them several things that I think, regardless of what sport they choose, that every female should have some basic knowledge of self defense, and wrestling can offer that. Wrestling is a sport that teaches discipline, mental toughness, and sportsmanship.”
She added, “It’s a sport that you can begin in high school with no experience and work your way up to the varsity level. There is no better place than PA to try wrestling the coaches and the team are very supportive.”
Rebecca Somer ’15 said, “I think everyone should be a wrestler, because it’s an incredible feeling to be using so many muscles at once.”
“It’s a really great way to release your energy, and I always feel good even if it’s been a bad day because of how supportive the team is,” she added.
The Girls Tournament will take place in the gym at 10 a.m. on Sunday.