A Mat of Their Own: WHSAA Sanctions Girls Wrestling

A Mat of Their Own: WHSAA Sanctions Girls Wrestling

Rock Springs' Maggie Smith (left). Chris Mora Photography

It’s been a long time coming, but gone are the days where high school girls will have to wrestle high school boys in Wyoming. For current and future female wrestlers in Sweetwater County the future is bright.

The Wyoming High School Activities Association (WHSAA) voted Wednesday to sanction the sport of girls wrestling beginning in the 2022-23 season.

In what is widely considered the fastest growing sport in the United States, Wyoming now joins 32 other states in the sanctioning of girls wrestling at the high school level.

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While there are many details to hammer out before the first match next season, the sport will feature it’s own state competition where high school girls will compete for state championships.

One of those girls looking forward to that opportunity next season is Rock Springs High School’s (RSHS) Maggie Smith who has been a part of the RSHS wrestling program the last three seasons.

“I think that it is a great idea to sanction girls wrestling as a high school sport,” Smith said. “All the surrounding states have sanctioned at the high school level and it has given so many girls an opportunity to compete at a high level in one of the best sports in the world.”

With one last go her senior year, Smith hopes to drum up some excitement among girls her age and the rising generation. One idea she’d like to implement this offseason is hosting her own camp to introduce girls to the sport and help them learn the basics.

“The best way I think to boost interest and involvement is just talking about it, so I am always sparking up conversations about the topic,” Smith said.

RSHS Athletic Director Thomas Jassman voiced his personal support for the board’s decision and said the high school would fully welcome the sport. As for the number of girls who were interested, he didn’t have an exact number but expects interest and participation to grow over the coming years.

As the countdown for the inaugural season begins, the dream of wrestling and competing for a girls wrestling state championship has finally become a reality for many across the state, including Smith.

“It is one of my goals in life to compete at the highest level of wrestling, and continue to coach and advocate for other female wrestlers,” Smith said.