Kansas High Schools Closer to Adding Girls Wrestling
Kansas is getting closer to becoming the seventh state to offer girls wrestling on the high school level. Currently, only California, Alaska, Hawaii, Texas, Tennessee, and Washington offer girls high school wrestling. Mercedes Gassman, a varsity wrestler at Garden Plain High School, is in hopes that her home state moves forward with adding the sport as a championship sport. “I think there would be a lot more girls out for wrestling if we had a girls team. A lot of girls are worried about wrestling guys. I think (adding girls wrestling) would really grow it in Kansas,” said Gassman who won a Central Plains League title at 120 pounds in 2015 and finished third at 126 in 2016.
Kansas' McPherson High School coach, Doug Kretzer is also on board for the state to becoming the seventh to add girls wrestling, “When you coach a girl that’s a wrestler, that will open your eyes to the things that they’re missing in the sport, you see how deep the sport goes for them." Kretzer said adding "You see the opportunities it provides for them in college or traveling or making more friends.” In 2016 there were a total of 111 girls competing in wrestling across the state of Kansas and in order for the state to consider adding the sport for girls, there must be 24 schools competing.