Montrose Freshmen Larissa Taylor didn’t wrestle many girls during the PIAA season, so she made the most of the opportunity a couple weeks ago.
Wrestling at 108 pounds Taylor went 3-2 to finish in the top six at the MyHouse Pennsylvania Girls’ High School State Wrestling Championships held at Gettysburg High School on March 8.
“I’m not used to wrestling girls, so to see how many girls are also into wrestling, it’s really phenomenal,” said Taylor.
Taylor opened her day with a pin of Lillian Otstott of Newport High School in the first period. Taylor put Otstott on her back at the 1:59 mark.
“My defense was working really well,” explained Taylor. “I need to work on my shooting, I’ve got a good shot, I just need to be more confident with it.”
In the second round Taylor met Savannah Paulhamus of Rideout Wrestling Club. Taylor wrestled well but dropped a close 3-1 decision to send her into the consolation bracket.
In her first consolation match, Taylor earned her second fall of the day pinning Central Mountain’s Olivia Miller in 1:07.
Taylor earned her third pin of the day when she decked Taylor Bloom of the LAWW club in 1:06 to advance to the next round.
In her final match of the day Taylor found herself deep into the second period when LV Athena’s Mattison Hyland took Taylor down and recorded a pin just before the period expired at the 3:57 mark.
Girls Wrestling Task for launched
Three days prior to the tournament in Gettysburg it was announced that a task force had been formed to make Girls’ wrestling a sanctioned sport through the PIAA.
The Pennsylvania High School Girls Wrestling Taskforce launched the SanctionPA initiative.
“We are at a critical tipping point for girls wrestling in the state of Pennsylvania as we see interest in the sport gaining momentum. Girls wrestling is the fastest growing high school sport in the nation and our state is seeing the same increase in popularity. Now is the time to embrace grils wrestling in Pennsylvania, a state that prides ourselves on our strong history of wrestling,” said Brooke Zumas, Parkland High School Assistant Wrestling Coach and chair of the Pennsylvania High School Girls Wrestling Task Force in a statement posted on the National Wrestling Coaches Association website.
Taylor is enthusiastic about the idea and sees it as a way to grow the sport.
“Around Montrose you don’t see many girl wrestlers, and if there’s a girls’ team some more girls may show up,” explained Taylor.
In order for the sport to be sanctioned 100 school districts would have to approve the sport as a stand-alone sport. The first steps were taken earlier this month when the Lancaster School District approved the formation of a girls’ wrestling team at JP McCaskey High School.