Tuesday, January 30, 2018

FEATURE: Spotlight on Nazareth Girls Wrestling Team

By Caitlin Van Rensburg

Nazareth Area High School recently established one of the Lehigh Valley’s first girls wrestling team with coaches Dave Crowell and Kasey Kruczek leading the pack. The coaches contacted girls throughout the school district and asked if they would be interested in the school’s new addition.

Photo: Lily Fancher
Four girls were selected through tryouts: seniors Dana Harris, Melina Ronca, Emily Simpson, and freshman Tyra Klump.

Harris explained, “Coach Crowell heard about the girls’ division, and it’s pretty popular in other states and especially because Nazareth wrestling is so popular, he wanted to be one of the first teams in the Lehigh Valley to start it.”

The girls recently wrestled in a girls’ division during a wrestling tournament in Stroudsburg. Melina Ronca got three pins in her division and came in first place, while Tyra Klump got two pins in her division and placed second.

When asked about their experience, several team members said it was nerve wracking to be a part of the first girls’ wrestling team at Nazareth. They have a lot to live up to considering Nazareth wrestling is very popular. The girls say that they love to wrestle, but it’s also one of the toughest sports they’ve ever participated in.

Ronca says that “Wrestling is way harder than I thought. There is a lot of morning running, getting up early, and after school practices.” Because of this, she “has a whole new respect for wrestlers.”

The girls expressed that there are a lot of wrestling terminology and concepts that they didn’t know of before they joined the team, but the team works hard before and after school in order to improve every day.

Team member Dana Harris says, “Wrestling is hard but also very rewarding.”

Because three of the four girls are seniors this year, there will be open spots for next year. Ronca notes, “Everyone is so welcoming, and no one should be afraid to try out next year.”

Their goal for the rest of the season is to keep competing fiercely, improve each match, and meet their individual goals.

Lily Fancher contributed to this story.

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