Editorial Page

South Florida High School Girls’ Wrestling Championships

The opportunities for young women to dream and aspire to great achievements continue to grow in the state of Florida.

One such example is Ms. Pam Bondi who became Florida’s 37th Attorney General.

Attorney General Bondi is a graduate of the University of Florida and Stetson Law School and has served as a prosecutor for more than 18 years. As an assistant state attorney for the 13th judicial district, her investigative and courtroom experience includes the successful prosecution of numerous first-degree murder cases and two capital cases.

There is always tension between the possibilities we aspire to and our wounded memories and past mistakes.Sean Brady

Florida is also experiencing a growth in another high aspiration area for girls and that is their ability to wrestle in a competitive, dignified environment.

For Florida it is a new frontier.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, wikimedia photo
fciwomenswrestling.com article, wikimedia photo

This mirrors what is occurring around the country.[adToAppearHere]

According to a recent report by the National Wrestling Coaches Association Since 1994, the number of women who wrestle in high school has grown from 804 to over 11,496.

They also cite that Women’s high school wrestling participation numbers are higher than the NCAA sponsored sports of crew, fencing, skiing, rifle and the NCAA emerging sports of rugby, sand volleyball and equestrian.

Two respected leaders are bringing girls high school wrestling into the future are Coaches Mike Zarra of McArthur and Ron Schulz of Nova who promoted the first-ever South Florida High School Girls’ Wrestling Championships.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, youtube photo
fciwomenswrestling.com article, youtube photo

This is a very high aspiration since every other sport sanctioned for boys by the FHSAA has a female equivalent, including such newer sports as weightlifting and flag football.


Up to this point, the girls have had to compete against the boys which has presented a challenge.

At a typical Florida tournament, girls and boys will compete versus each other, usually resulting in overmatched girls who simply do not have the sheer strength to compete.

On January 24, 2015, the girls finally received an opportunity to compete against themselves.

I believe that one can aspire to as much as one wants to.……Trevor McDonald

According to the news source sun-sentinel.com the tournament went very well. They report in his 10th year coaching wrestling at McArthur, assistant coach Joseph A. Murphy and a few other staff members shifted the tournament from a junior varsity tournament for boys to an event to one where all boys and girls were welcome to join.

The respected information site news-press.com relates, “Participation for females has fluctuated in Florida over the last two decades. The Florida High School Athletic Association reported 192 wrestled last season. The number was as high as 467 in 2004 and has only dipped below 100 once since 1996.

However, numbers don’t yet warrant a separate girl’s state tournament.”

Research indicates only Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, California and Texas have such tournaments sanctioned by the state’s governing bodies.

Having said that, the future for girl’s high school wrestling in Florida looks bright if Mr. Zarra and Mr. Schulz continue to be passionate about building their successful inaugural tournament.

They’ve come a long way since it was reported that Daisy Santos had done what no other girl from Hillsborough County had done. In 2013 surrounded by several of her male teammates, she signed a wrestling scholarship to King University.

At King she has experienced tremendous success.

At their athletic site they report Daisy helped the Tornado win their first WCWA national championship and first NWCA Dual national championship. She’s a WCWA All-American at 109 pounds and won her first three bouts of the WCWA National Championships, starting with a 12-0 tech fall win over Jessica Marso of Menlo

Mr. James Allen (28 November 1864 – 24 January 1912) was a British philosophical writer known for his inspirational books and poetry and as a pioneer of the self-help movement. His best known work, As a Man Thinketh, has been mass-produced since its publication in 1903. It has been a source of inspiration to motivational and self-help authors.

He was once quoted as expressing, “To desire is to obtain; to aspire is to achieve.

Having successfully held the first girl’s high school wrestling tournament in Florida is a great achievement in itself.

In terms of girls wrestling in Florida, greater things are yet to come.

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