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The Ladies are Here

Mt. Pleasant Female Wrestling
Felicia Saunders
The oilers cheer on Taylor Thompson moments before her first ever appearance on the mat.

Women’s wrestling is one of the fastest growing sports in the nation and that trend is evident in Mt. Pleasant High School’s Wrestling room with a record number of 5 female athletes stepping onto the mat this year. Doubling totals from years previous. 

Led by senior Felicia Saunders, a 4 year varsity wrestler and 3 time state qualifier, the team consists of Rhianna Armstrong, Chloe Churchman, Rachel Chess, and Taylor Thompson. These girls share their thoughts about being on the Boy’s Wrestling Team. Armstrong explains her driving motivation of continuing her 2 year wrestling journey “I joined to get muscles.” Thompson dissimilarly notes “That it is cool and girl’s wrestling is the fastest growing sport in Michigan” as her primary reason for joining. Thompson is a 1st year and 9th grader navigating not only the hardships of a new team and sport but also a new school and whole set of expectations as a highschool athlete. Taylor hopes to “Gain confidence out of this season.”

Churchman discussed her fears of rejoining wrestling and was worried that she “Might not remember anything from last year and just being bad.” Rhianna was most afraid of being on a “Co-ed” team because “There are guys with beards who try to talk to you. Like go away.” Rachel’s greatest fear was “Having to wrestle like Kal or Blaine” those 2 outstanding men are 2 of the 4 Mt. Pleasant Wrestling team captains. Thankfully, nowhere near Rachel’s weight class. 

Mackenzie Burger, a Mt. Pleasant Alumnus and current Alma college wrestler, says that she is “Excited and proud of how far all of them women before me have worked to get where we are” when asked her thoughts about the team’s increasing numbers. Burger, a Michigan State runner up and Lakeview tournament Champion, also states that “To be honest I am a little jealous of the younger girls joining this sport because when I first started there were way less girls and I only wrestled a girl on a rare occasion.” Mackenzie began her wrestling career 9 years ago, just before females joining the sport boomed, A time when skull caps and undershirts were still required of female athletes in order to compete. These antiquated rules of bygone days are examples of the leaps forward the wrestling community has made to make wrestling closer to an equal participation sport. 

It will be an interesting season for the Oilers with the possibility to send double the amount of girls to the state competition. In recent years, two girls on the team meant only two possible state placers for girls. Other achievements are also possible such as the team’s first woman state champion, and entering into a girls tournament. Many firsts are possible this year as Mt. Pleasant sets its record for female participation in the sport of wrestling. 

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About the Contributor
Felicia Saunders
Felicia Saunders, Former Editor
Felicia Saunders is a senior and first-year staffer on the Pipeline. Drawn to boring old newspapers Felicia is now a writer for a not so boring online “paper”. When Saunders isn’t writing riveting articles, her Highness is getting buff lifting weights or wrestling.
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  • S

    SummerDec 14, 2023 at 8:49 am

    I am so proud of you girl! You are so strong willed