HOPE MATHER, KNIGHT WIRE GUEST WRITER
Wartburg is the first team in the American River’s Conference to add women’s wrestling. The college’s decision to add women’s wrestling to their athletic roster has already piqued the interest of a few female students.
Eric Keller, director of wrestling, contributed to the addition with the help of Ryan Callahan, Rick Willis, and President Colson.
“I give our administration a lot of credit because they’re forward-thinking and constantly thinking about what we can do to grow and be better, and this addition was a no-brainer,” said Keller.
Keller is currently overseeing the women’s and men’s wrestling programs until Wartburg can find a coach. Once a coach is found, they will have a year to fill the roster.
If they can fill their roster the season will commence in 2023; if not, there will still be competitive opportunities available for the wrestlers.
First-year Alyssa Chyma and second-year Miricle Corbo will be the first females on the roster. Both, Chyma and Corbo have been around wrestling their whole lives and currently help manage the men’s wrestling team.
When Chyma and Corbo heard about the addition of women’s wrestling, they didn’t hesitate to sign up. In high school, Chyma and Corbo had only dreamed about participating in girls’ wrestling.
“Girls’ wrestling just wasn’t a thing when I was in high school because Iowa had not sanctioned it until this year; otherwise, I would’ve started wrestling way earlier,” said Corbo.
The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU) announced on January 12th, 2022 that girls’ wrestling was officially sanctioned.
“I have always felt that I was meant to wrestle and now I finally have the chance to. I plan to put in the time and effort to train and build the mental and physical muscles needed for success in the upcoming season,” said Chyma.
Corbo has also been preparing by exercising daily and plans to work closely with Coach Keller to learn the techniques of wrestling.
Chyma and Corbo are ready to fulfill their life-long dreams of wrestling competitively and be the first females at Wartburg to do so.
Keller will hold the same expectations for the women’s team as he does for the men’s team.
“Wrestling requires a lot of dedication, commitment, and hard work because it is a tough sport, but the rewards are worth it. This sport teaches you all of those life lessons, and that is why I love it,” said Keller.
Keller will continue to teach life lessons to a whole other group of athletes and watch them make history at Wartburg College.