Ogden girls excited to be part of first wrestling team in school history

Back: Grey Roush 9th, Hannah Wells 10th, Sydney King 10th, Laurell Schlenker 10th, Lauren Mathews 9th and Coach Scott McCloud. Front: Alauna Wells 7th, Joylyn Wells 8th, Jaclyn Sprecher 8th, Rylin Casey 7th and Grace Hammer 8th. / Photo by Craig Shultz
Craig Shultz
Ogden Reporter Editor

This past spring saw the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union make a decision which has led to a good deal of history being made. After a couple of years picking up some steam among the state, girls wrestling has become an officially sanctioned IGHSAU sport with this year being the first. Five girls at Ogden High School will put their names in the history book as being part of the first official team in school history. There are also five junior high girls who will be wrestling this year as well.

“You know what, it’s really exciting and it’s an honor to be co-head coach,” Co-Head Coach Scott McCloud said. “Coach Jesse Sundell is also a co-head coach. To have these girls come out and have it sanctioned like that, it’s an amazing feeling, I’m glad to be a part of it.”

Over the first couple of weeks of practice, McCloud stated the first practice the girls came in a little wide-eyed, but have since gotten into the groove of things.

This isn’t the first time Ogden has girls wrestling as Sydney King and Laurel Schlenker both wrestled last year and are now the team leaders as sophomores. Sophomore Hannah Wells along with freshman Gray Roush and Lauren Mathews are new to the team this season.

Roush got into wrestling when she was younger and has gotten to like it. Her mantra is work until you break, and enjoys learning how to defend herself. Being part of the first team is a source of pride for her.

King, a returner, thought it was fun last year and always enjoyed wrestling her brother. The family aspect is a draw for her on the mat. King thinks she can be a leader but will also be a follower as she’s still learning too. The toughest thing has been getting back into it and remembering everything she’s learned so far.

Schlenker, the second returner, is excited to be part of the team and loves the effort of all the girls. She got into wrestling because it was new and wanted to be on the ground floor. Being part of the first team is exciting and loves her teammates and coaches.

Wells got into wrestling due to her family telling her to try out and so far she thinks it’s better than she had expected. Learning the moves has been a challenge for her but agrees with her teammates that being part of the first team in school history is cool.

Mathews, who wrestled as a junior high last year, started wrestling after a friend talked her into going out for it. Like others, learning moves has been a hill to climb. She enjoys the coaches and the practices.

“When they (King and Schlenker) came in, they didn’t know a whole lot. They were scared to be in the room,” McCloud said of the returning duo. “They came over here and wrestled my junior high and started to blossom more. This year, they’re my two team leaders so I love them to death and I can’t say enough good things about them.”

McCloud said the freshmen are really good. Mathews is a two-sport athlete this year along with Wells, both will also be playing basketball this year.

Having the junior high program will also hopefully become a way to recruit girls to the program. With only two girls this year, there are 11 this year in both the high school and junior high programs.

However, Ogden will not have any girls duals this year, rather, all of their competition will come in the form of tournaments. McCloud thinks it’ll be a bit different going forward.

“I think weight cutting is a big one,” he said of potential challenges this year. “I’ve been a wrestling coach in Ogden for about 20 years and cutting weight with boys is hard. I have absolutely no idea on how to cut weight with girls so that’s something I have to go back to school and learn.”

He also thinks the two-sport athlete will be difficult for those also playing basketball. Also one of his concerns is the pressure these girls have as the first official team in school history.

“We’re the first Ogden team ever so people are going to remember that,” McCloud said.

McCloud said the team started to come together in October and liked seeing someone go out and be able to bring a friend with them. He added practices will be run the same as they do as the boys practices and will look to make them as good as they can.

Amy Krause, elementary principal, has given the girls team permission to come and sign autographs for the younger kids through the year. McCloud hopes that younger kids seeing high school girls being able to compete and be a role model will help to grow the program.


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