Freshman female wrestlers change boundaries of the sport

Violence. Such an inherently masculine term. Wrestling. Such an inherently violent sport, thus making wrestling an inherently masculine sport. Although, at Ladue High School there are two freshmen on the wrestling team who disagree with this age old consensus and wish to make a change.

Scarlette Maier and Saba Fajors are two freshmen on the wrestling team at Ladue High School. They are also both female. Being a freshman on a sports team at the high school level already has plenty of characteristic struggles, let alone being a female in a male dominated sport. Wrestling is only gender inclusive by rule. The sport itself, at least on the high school level, doesn’t seem completely ready for the involvement of females. 

“[Schools hosting tournaments] are not always prepared for you, because it’s still a new thing. Schools aren’t ready or they don’t have enough mats so things go by slower when they don’t take into consideration females,” Fajors said. 

Along with the logistical side of females being involved in wrestling there is still a stigma, both in and out of the wrestling community, about incorporating females into the male dominated area. This stigma makes girls feel as though they are being put at a disadvantage in a variety of different ways. The first of which is the idea that they are intrinsically inferior to the boys in the sport.

“People just think its a guy thing and that it is not for girls,” Fajors said. Scarlette Maier agrees with Fajors’s assumption that people doubt them when it comes to their wrestling ability. 

“ I was worried that people wouldn’t think I would have the mindset…that I wouldn’t be able to do half the stuff…that I would have to prove myself,” Maier said. 

Another disadvantage for the females is that they are constantly treated differently by other participants within the sport . Even at practice when they are with their teammates there is still discrimination. Whether it be intentional or unintentional, it still exists. 

“When I go against other guys at least especially at first, and also I’ve gone against guys practicing from other teams who they immediately choose to underestimate me,” Maier said. 

Females also experience different treatment from the referees at the tournaments.

“I felt the referee was standing us up a lot. And it wasn’t for accurate reasons. I felt he thought we were going too hard,” Fajors said. 

Despite all of the stigma and the unfairness that female wrestlers experience they are still able to find a love and a passion for the sport which matches even the most devoted wrestler’s. 

“Literally everything of it. I mean if I had to pick one probably the competition itself, I love it all,” Maier said.