Friday, April 12, 2024

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Why were four female wrestlers removed from Woodlawn’s wrestling team?

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QUESTION: Why has the Alamance-Burlington school system’s new athletic director, Todd Davis, removed four females from the wrestling team at Woodlawn Middle School – three of them just this week, right before the championship tournament this weekend?

ANSWER: Those four female wrestlers were deemed to be ineligible for the wrestling team, ABSS public information officer Les Atkins told The Alamance News Wednesday without offering specifics.

Some have said that at least one was a fifth-grade student, “playing up from her elementary school,” while the other three female wrestlers have been removed from the team because they were “not on the original roster” at the beginning of the season.

“However they are allowed to attend the tournament,” Atkins said, referring to the four female wrestlers who have been removed from the team at Woodlawn Middle School. “The only students who can wrestle in the tournament are the ones who were on the original master eligibility sheet.”

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“This is not a transgender-type issue,” the newspaper’s questioner said this week. “These are all just girls who like to wrestle, and apparently occasionally show up the boys on their team and the opponents’ [team].”

Instead, girls’ interest in wrestling appears to be mostly limited to high schools teams in other states, with the athletes attributing their interest to a desire to build strength and discipline, along with other skills that participation in team sports confers. Many say they have grown up wrestling brothers at home.

CBS News and multiple other media outlets reported in early 2023 that high school girls’ wrestling, which reportedly became an official school-sponsored sport in other states during the 2022-23 school year, is one of the fastest-growing sports in the country.

The National Federation of High School Associations (NHFS) reported in December 2021 that girls’ participation in traditionally male-dominated sports such as football and wrestling had exploded in recent years. Since 2018, 25 states have added separate female wrestling championship competitions, according to the federation.


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