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South Valley Journal

Girls Develop Wrestling Skills

Mar 13, 2015 01:44PM ● By Greg James

Paige Mills from Riverton is learning wrestling holds as a member of the first all-girls club.

Think twice about making fun of this girls club. It is the first all-girl wrestling club in the state of Utah. Tuesday nights they meet at Riverton High School to perfect their wrestling skills.

“USA Wrestling has added a girls division to every meet. We live in a state that is very conservative, but girls want to be champions too. Most of these girls have grown up with brothers or dads that wrestled. That is where they got interested. We want the same things for our daughters as we do for our sons. Wrestling teaches good qualities,” Utah Girls Wrestling Coordinator Billy Cox said.

Three Utah freestyle wrestling clubs are sanctioning all-girls practices: Champions Wrestling Club in Mapleton, Tactik 3-Style Wrestling Club in Riverton and Crushers Club in Layton. 

Riverton High assistant and Tactik coach Dwayne Henry has arranged the opportunity for girls to spend practicing and learning wrestling at Riverton High School. The club also practices in Mapleton and Layton on Monday nights.

“We like the central location at Riverton High School. Kids from Copper Hills and Herriman can come easily here to practice. Some of the girls come up from Utah County too. It is good to get the girls together. There are lots of opportunities for these girls to advance,” Cox said.

Female wrestling was recognized as an Olympic sport and 24 colleges now sponsor a varsity female wrestling program.

“Last year colleges offered 160 scholarships for womens wrestling and less than 150 of those were used. This can break down barriers and give girls a chance to expand their horizons and confront their fears,” Cox said.

Utah USA Wrestling received a grant from Salt Lake City to help under-privileged girls participate. 

“This is an opportunity to get girls off the streets, out of drugs and abusive relationships. They could learn something fun and get a scholarship to go to school. We are trying to give kids more opportunities,” Cox said.

Sixth grader Sage Mortimer from Mapleton recently won the Utah Northern State Championships and took home the most outstanding wrestler of the tournament. Her mother Chanel Mortimer said wrestling has taught her daughter dedication. “This will take off. It is going to be huge,” she said.

The 2015 Utah spring wrestling season began Feb 27 and continues through April 25 with the state championships at the Legacy Events Center in Farmington, Utah.