The Student News Site of Manheim Township High School

The Township Times

The Student News Site of Manheim Township High School

The Township Times

The Township Times

The Student News Site of Manheim Township High School

The Township Times

Girls Wrestling Starts Their First Season as a PIAA-Sanctioned Sport

The girls’ wrestling team at Media Day

Girls wrestling is a new sport for MTSD and Pennsylvania. This year, the team consists of 12 high school wrestlers who will compete in different and bigger tournaments and arenas from Nov. 17 to Mar. 9. 

The PIAA voted to initiate the sponsoring of girls wrestling as a sanctioned sport on May 17, 2023, and the sport was officially sanctioned by PIAA on Jul. 1. To reach this goal that the girls teams, coaches and parents had been striving for, there had to be 100 girls teams in the state. MT was the 30th school in the state to create a girls wrestling program. The school board unanimously approved the request to create one at their Dec. 16, 2021 meeting. 

The wrestling season started Nov. 17. This season marks the third season for the MT program and the first where the sport is sanctioned in the state. With the sanctioning of the sport, changes will occur regarding the girls’ practices and competitions. This year, the girls will have their own league tournament that is separate from the boys’ league tournament. The girls’ states tournament will be held at the Giant Center instead of Central Dauphin. 

“It’s a really big deal for us because we get to have as much recognition as the guys do,” said senior Bella Baccio, a sixth-year wrestler. 

The MT girls wrestling practices have also changed. They now practice at a later and different time than the boys team. This gives them more space to practice which compensates for the growth of the program. 

“While it is a bit of a transition because of the time change, it’s nice to be able to focus on just what the girls team needs to work on rather than working on what the guys are working on,” said sophomore Molly O’Shea, a second-year wrestler.

The girls’ regular season goes until Feb. 7, and their postseason will go until Mar. 9. The program’s first tournament is the Dallastown Tournament on Dec. 9. Some of their home dual meets include meets against Penn Manor on Jan. 1, Spring Grove on Jan. 9, and Warwick on Jan. 10. The competitions are meant to help grow and encourage the girls wrestling program within the district and across the state. 

According to Sanction PA, girls wrestling is the fastest growing high school sport in the country, and in Pennsylvania, the program has experienced a 200 percent increase in participation in the past few years. 

“It’s really exciting to see everything grow,” Baccio said.

 Many of the girls are excited for the season and looking forward to the competitions ahead of them. 

“I love girls wrestling because I get to connect with people in a sport that I love,” freshman Kylie Corradino said.

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Ainsley Bounds, Staff writer
Ainsley Bounds is a freshman at MT high school and is a staff writer for The Township Times.

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