Go to a BCHS wrestling match and you’ll find athleticism, intensity and hard working wrestlers. But among those usual sights you might also come across something surprising.
Three of them actually.
The high school fields a trio of female wrestlers as part of the team. Catherine Davis, Jenna Reeves and Sydney Williams take the mat and wrestle male and female competition.
Wrestling is one of the few sports that went coed on the high school level. The reason is quite simple; it is played out in specific weight classifications so it doesn’t really matter whether the competitor is male or female.
Coach Adam Brunner, in his first year, enjoys coaching his lady wrestlers and has not altered his style at all because of their gender.
“Having females on the team doesn’t change the way I coach at all,” said Brunner. “Our team gets the same instruction and we don’t coach to fit the gender’s needs. Wrestling is a physical sport and there’s no way we could ask wrestlers from an opposing team to lay off because they are wrestling a female. The objective of this sport is to win matches, and if we didn’t ask each wrestler to give a 100 percent then we would be butchering the sport.”
The girls have worked very hard and as the season has progressed they found themselves paired up against girls from Yulee, Terry Parker and Duval Charter. Brunner noticed that girls command a lot of attention. They have fared well in their matches and Brunner was particularly impressed when Reeves pinned a male wrestler from West Nassau in the first round of the Army Duals.
“As the referee slapped his hand to the mat, I looked around the gym to see the expressions of the spectators,” said Brunner. “Their eyes were wide open. Other wrestlers were whispering to their teammates, and there seemed to be a lot of shock in the crowd. To us, its just another match we won, but to others it was a huge surprise.”
Brunner likes the “diversity” it gives the team, and after the boys got used to the trio, the girls became simply fellow wrestlers.
“Our more experienced wrestlers always give assistance to make not just our females better, but our entire team,” said the coach.
“We ask our guys to give best efforts everyday, and we ask the same of our girls. It’s been a privilege to coach them,” he said. “These girls could be role models to any young women wanting to get involved in any type of extracurricular activities, especially in a male-dominated sport.”