WJ hosts first ever all women wrestling dual meet match in MCPS history

Junior+Emma+Matalia+pins+a+wrestler+from+Montgomery+Blair.+The+dual+meet+took+place+Wednesday%2C+Jan.+18%2C+with+Matalia+winning+her+match+up.

Photo courtesy of Emma Matalia

Junior Emma Matalia pins a wrestler from Montgomery Blair. The dual meet took place Wednesday, Jan. 18, with Matalia winning her match up.

The first ever all-girls wrestling dual meet match in MOCO history will take place this Saturday at WJ. The matchup features Queen Anne’s County High School and the Wildcats. This event will become only the second all-girls wrestling match ever in Maryland. Last year, Queen Anne’s hosted the first one when they faced off against Winters Mill.

“It feels awesome that we get to participate and make history. This is my first year wrestling and to know that I’m making history is really empowering. Not many people think that girls can wrestle and to prove to them that we can is such a great feeling,” junior Emma Matalia said.

The girls program has really taken off in recent years with a growing number of people joining the team.

“It’s super exciting to see girls wrestling grow as a sport and being a part of it. Last year it was only three girls on the team and this year it’s over double that. It’s pretty exhilarating to think about how this will be making history, but for us it isn’t about making history, we’re just excited to be wrestling a girls team. Hopefully this match helps more girls join wrestling and see that girls can wrestle even though it is a male dominated sport,” senior Laura Reyes said.

With such a large quantity of girls currently on the team, coach Brian Frantz realized it made sense to give the girls their own separate dual meet opportunity.

“The idea came from a conversation I had with another coach in the county. We’ve had a number of girls on the team since I’ve been coaching at WJ, and with the growing opportunities in the state we are fortunate to have seen an increase in numbers on our team for both the boys and girls. However, so far there hasn’t been girls dual meets like the boys/coed team has. Every sport has boys and girls teams, so it makes sense that boys and girls have different teams and different dual meets,” Frantz said.

Frantz hopes that this is the first of many more all-girls matches to come in the next few years.

“My biggest hope for this match is that it’s not just a spectacle, and that it is something that becomes regular. I’d like to see the county start real JV and real girls matches. Instead of having them be exhibitions. I hope that the WJ fan base comes out and supports our varsity and JV coed team in an important match against Quince Orchard and then stays around and supports our girls and all the hard work that the entire team has put in,” Frantz said.

There is a lot of added pressure that comes with this match, but the team is still excited for this unique chance.

Although this isn’t my first match of the season, I am still nervous because this is important to me. I am also excited because I don’t know if I will have this opportunity again so I’m going to make the best of it.

— Emma Matalia

Even though there won’t be another all-girls dual meet this season, there are still plenty of chances left in the season for the girls to wrestle again.

“We are getting late in the season, but next Friday the girls are going to a tournament at Blair, and then the girls will wrestle in the MCPS county championship, the 3A/4A West Regional championships, and if they qualify, the MPSSAA State Championships. So, there’s a lot of opportunities for the girls coming up to show off their hard work. I hope that girls around WJ see that there are opportunities for them in wrestling, and that the sport is not just for boys,” Frantz said.

The match will take place at 2 p.m. after the boys’ wrestling team takes on Quince Orchard. The team urges everyone to come out and support the Wildcats in both matches.

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