Skip to comments.VIDEO: Linn-Mar student cites conscience, faith in not wrestling girl (HS girls wrestling boys)
Posted on 02/17/2011 4:06:04 PM PST by iowamark
An Iowa high school wrestler who was one of the favorites to win his weight class defaulted on his first-round state tournament match rather than face one of the first girls to ever qualify for the event.
Joel Northrup, a home-schooled sophomore who was 35-4 wrestling for Linn-Mar High this season, said in a statement that he doesnt feel it would be right for him to wrestle Cedar Falls freshman Cassy Herkelman. Herkelman, who was 20-13 entering the tournament, and fellow 112-pounder Ottumwa sophomore Megan Black, who was 25-13, made history by being the first girls to qualify for the state tournament. Black was pinned quickly in her opening round match.
I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy and Megan and their accomplishments. However, wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times, wrote Northrup. As a matter of conscience and my faith I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner. It is unfortunate that I have been placed in a situation not seen in most other high school sports in Iowa.
There were several thousand fans on hand Thursday at Wells Fargo Arena, but many were watching other matches when the referee raised Herkelmans hand to signal her win. There was a smattering of cheers and boos from the crowd before Herkelman was whisked into the bowels of the arena.
Tournament organizers declined to make Herkelman available for questions. Her next match is Friday.
In a text message to The Associated Press, her father, Bill Herkelman, said he understands Northrups decision.
Its nice to get the first win and have her be on the way to the medal round, Bill Herkelman wrote. I sincerely respect the decision of the Northrup family especially since it was made on the biggest stage in wrestling. I have heard nothing but good things about the Northrup family and hope Joel does very well the remainder of the tourney.
Linn-Mar athletics director Scott Mahmens said the school would not penalize Northrup for defaulting. Because he defaulted and didnt forfeit, Northrup is eligible to compete in consolation rounds. Black will also compete in the consolation rounds.
Wrestling is hugely popular in Iowa, and this is the first time girls have qualified for the state tournament, which began in 1926.
According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, just more than 6,000 girls competed in wrestling in 2009-10 compared with nearly 275,000 boys. Though most states require girls to wrestle boys, California, Hawaii and Texas now sponsor girls-only high school wrestling tournaments.
rasslin’ shouldn’t be a coed sport!
there should be men’s and women’s teams, separately.
Good for him, this is a problem that should have been solved long ago.
oh, and the ladies should rassle in strawberry jello.
While we’re at it, girls shouldn’t be allowed on football teams past flag football. My hubby’s ex loon signs up his daughter for football so she can be the “only girl on the football team.” She is neither athletic or talented in football. It’s another “look at me and mom” stunt.
Knuckleheads on other threads are suggesting this kid defaulted out of fear of losing, but 35-4 is a pretty impressive record.
No one would ever allow a boy to join the girls volleyball team when there is no boys team to join, why on earth are girls in wrestling? It makes weigh-ins, skin checks, showering etc. more difficult for everyone.
have full johnson
This must be about the fourth or fifth thread on this subject.
That is true, it is a good counter balance to the teachers in Wisconsin teaching their students to lie to the state about being sick and stealing tax payers dollars. Someone has to teach moral character in this country.
Age is definitely a factor. One of my sons was playing hockey against a team that had a huge girl defender. He was probably around 11, or possibly 12 at the time. After the game, he said, "Dad, I had to check her once, and I felt kind of weird about it. I skated into her and I just kept sinking in." I said to him, some guys think that's a desirable feature. He was young enough to still go "ewwwwwwwww...."