The Perfect Match for Girls

The Perfect Match for Girls

Sara Cao, Opinions Editor

     Ready to take on a new challenge and defy stereotypes, Penny Zheng (‘20) and Holly Wei (‘21) decided to join wrestling as the first women in Burroughs history to wrestle as a school sport.

     You might have seen Zheng in the spirit week assembly, showing off her incredible skill of flipping anyone to the ground. This athletic ability transitioned into her wrestling, as she stated that she wanted to try it because “It seemed like an exciting sport.” The wrestling season has been both “challenging and rewarding” for Zheng, who found the mental aspects of it, such as overcoming nerves before matches, to be the hardest. However, her most rewarding moment was in a tournament, when she ended up reversing and pinning down her opponent, who placed second at districts, with 17 seconds left in the third period afier coming off a rough start of 3-11.

     These wrestling matches, as explained by Zheng, are unpredictable and “vary from those that end with someone getting pinned within 30 seconds to others last the entire six minutes.” Clearly, Zheng is putting her practice from assembly to good use.

     On the other hand, Wei has excelled in sports such as soccer and field hockey at John Burroughs at a varsity level, but her reasons for joining wrestling were different from Zheng’s.

     She started out wrestling as a half-joke, citing that she thought “it would be kind of funny as a 100 lb. sophomore girl,” but she also wanted to experience a sport with increased contact after coming off a field hockey season, a sport with more rules about contact.

     Though Wei was injured for most of the season, she stated that her favorite part of the sport is the team, adding “It’s such a nice group of people, and after I got injured, I still found myself at all the meets doing film or getting involved however I could.”

     Like Zheng, Wei also expressed that wrestling is a difficult sport, especially because “unlike team sports, everything is on you and the team environment is one where everyone’s pushing really hard.”

     Zheng and Wei, with their outstanding mental and athletic capability, defy the myths that “girls can’t be tough.” Wei stated that “Wrestling is definitely not a cute sport. There’s bleeding and vomiting and sweating all the tune, but the assumption that girls should want to play cute sports, to begin with, is the problem.” To the people who are interested in joining wrestling, Zheng was sure to emphasize that “Wrestling can be challenging yet exhilarating and extremely rewarding. Please don’t hesitate to join because once you do, the only thing you’ll regret is not having had more years with the sport.”