The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

Leopard wrestling breaks gender barrier

Long hair is something that is not usually confined underneath a wrestler’s headgear, but this year that is nothing out of the ordinary as two freshman girls have joined the high school’s wrestling team.

“When I first came to Lovejoy in the 7th grade I was really good friends with Abby Eaton,” freshman wrestler Julie Alyn said. “Girls wrestling was new that year to Lovejoy, so I decided to try it out and I fell in love with the sport.”

With the majority of the Leopard wrestling program being male, there are obviously differences head coach Mike Eaton has to consider.

“Women are much more flexible, for the most part, and that makes it hard to do some moves that you would use on men,” Eaton said. “Men would typically turn or relent to the force applied to their body but women can be much more flexible so it does not affect them.”

“Our women’s program will be winning the district tournament, in the top 3 at regionals, and top 5 in the state if not better within 3 years.”

— Mike Eaton said.

In addition to the girls being more flexible, they are also more disciplined.

“I have found that women have much more ‘literal’ when it comes to our coaching,” Eaton said. “They seem to listen and follow our coaching much better then our men.”

One special thing about coach Eaton is that he gets to share his love for wrestling with his daughter as freshman Abby Eaton is one of the two wrestlers on the high school program.

“It’s definitely a lot of fun having my dad as coach, but it’s challenging too,” Abby Eaton said. “He pushes me a lot harder, and he has higher expectations and I definitely want to make him proud because he is my dad.”

In Texas, there is a different division for female wrestlers which is very helpful when it comes to recruiting girls to wrestle.

“There is a lot of competition out there for women at the high school,” Eaton said.
“Texas is one of four or five states which offers a separate women’s division at this level and this has really sent our numbers up incredibly.”

Part of the struggle for the female wrestlers is that during practice they are surrounded by males and if one of the girls isn’t there things can be challenging.

“Wrestling is hard sometimes because if Abby is gone one day, and I don’t have a partner the guys tend to not want to wrestle with us girls because of how much contact the sport requires,” Alyn said.

One of the downsides to the Leopard women’s wrestling program is the fact that there is no full time coach for the girls leaving Eaton to coach both the guys and girls.

“Many programs have been able to hire women [coaches] for their high school teams who have competed in high school and college, so hopefully we can do the same so that our women get the opportunity to compete at the same level our men can,” Eaton said.

Despite the lack of a full time female coach, Eaton still has high hopes for the women’s wrestling program in the near future.

“Our women’s program will be winning the district tournament, in the top 3 at regionals, and top 5 in the state if not better within 3 years,” Eaton said. “We will have at least one individual state champion and many more state placers by that time.”

Aside from the high hopes for the program, the main goal for Eaton and the girl’s wrestling program is to simply become good wrestlers.

“Other than those things, I have really coached women much like I would coach our men–to be good wrestlers,” coach Eaton said. “Not good “for a girl”.

While the girls aren’t out to make a statement, they sometimes feel the need to prove themselves.

“Being a girl in a male dominant sport is a lot harder, because a lot of times guys underestimate what you can do, and they usually think that it’s a lot easier being a girl, but it’s definitely not,” Abby Eaton said. “Girls get after it just as much and even more possibly, because we have a lot to prove.”

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About the Contributors
Kevin Davis
Kevin Davis, Sports Editor
Kevin Davis is returning for his fifth year is the newspaper program in middle school, and is a senior this year. He is also the sports editor of The Red Ledger for the second consecutive year. His favorite sport to cover is volleyball, because of the recent success the volleyball program has had. He plays outside linebacker for the leopard football team and wears number 22 because of ex-Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith, however his favorite football player is Adrian Peterson. On the weekends, Kevin enjoys watching the Oklahoma Sooners, Dallas Cowboys, and hanging out with friends. His favorite restaurant is Buffalo Wild Wings (medium boneless buffalo dry rub). Also, cold stone is vital for a complete meal after eating at BWW. Also, music is very important to Kevin. If he could, he would have background music playing throughout his whole day. His favorite genre is rap, his favorite rapper is Kanye West, but he listens to just about everything. Although he can’t play any instruments, he can play Through the Fire and Flames on expert on guitar hero three. Other than guitar hero, he is not very interested or good at video games. Another skill that Kevin possesses is photoshop and graphic design.
Ben Prengler
Ben Prengler, Photo Editor/Business Manager

Benjamin Prengler has many titles: President of Student Council, President of the Class of 2015, professional drummer, and photojournalist. Through the years he has learned the values of honesty and trustworthiness (unusual traits for a future politician). He is a Junior in Lovejoy High School, and has attended the district since Kindergarten. He is interested in politics; so don’t ask him about anything political, because he’ll give you a long speech. Favorite TV shows include, House of Cards, Game of Thrones, and The Colbert Report. Favorite movies include Inglourious Basterds, Forrest Gump, and The Shawshank Redemption. Favorite food includes, beef brisket, beef ribs, beef brisket sandwich. Favorite drink is Dr. Pepper.

Alexa Mapes
Alexa Mapes, Staff Reporter
Alexa / Lexa Mapes is senior who will fall asleep in the most inappropriate of places—including the Coliseum in Rome. In a Hard Rock Café in Paris, she was locked inside a bathroom and forgotten. After the third time you've repeated yourself, she still hasn't heard you. Once, upon forgetting Michael Koval's name, she caught his attention by shouting  "eyebrows!" Half of the time she asks a store employee for help, they are not a store employee. Alexa is constantly saying goodbye to someone and realizing they're going in the same direction. Her immediate go-to in awkward situations is to pretend to be texting the "friends she has, but just aren't there." She has successfully walked into an automatic door on multiple occasions. She is, the most awkward girl in the world.

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    Mark PepperFeb 15, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    This is a great thing for Texas and for this great sport.