ROCK SPRINGS – Breaking boundaries and taking challenges head on is exactly what one Rock Springs Junior High eighth-grade student is doing on the wrestling mats this season.
While most young ladies who decide to wrestle start young and by junior high decide to go in other directions, eighth-grader Kortney Gillian’s journey has been exactly opposite. This is her first year on the mats. She decided to take on the challenge after watching her older brother’s matches. She watched videos of her brother who wrestles in Oklahoma and caught the fever.
While she said she has always been into sports, she explained she was a nervous wreck going out for wrestling. Despite the challenge, she was driven to do it. Did she even think about being a girl in what is mainly a boy’s sport?
“No, I didn’t even think about it,” Kortney said.
Neither did her mother Stayc Rodgers.
“I encouraged her and told her it is not about winning or losing,” Rodgers said. “It’s about what you believe in and who you are.”
While she has faced the challenges of the sport both on and off the mat, she said her coaches and teammates have been very supportive and a driving factor for her to keep going. Each day she continues to advance, learning the different skills and techniques taught to her by teammates and coaches.
“They are always telling me to use my flexibility to my advantage,” she said.
While she is focused on making it through her eighth-grade season, Kortney has set higher goals. She said she wants to continue wrestling in high school and hopes to make it to the college level. Her mom has no doubt she will.
“Kortney is very determined and I have faith she will meet her goals,” Stayc said.