2A Ballard vs 3A Norwalk Preview (Youth Night)

Where: Huxley, IA

When: December 16th, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Watch: Stream

Follow: Twitter – @IAwrestle, @warrior_wrestle, @BallardLegacy 

Projected Lineups:



Tonight, wrestling fans could witness a varsity dual meet with two female wrestlers in the lineup tonight. Something that does not happen very often in Iowa. This shows the progress of female wrestling and based off the stats below you will see we have a lot farther to go. Ballard’s 145 pounder Rachel Watters has the hardware most wrestlers dream about at her age. Rachel is a Cadet National Champ, Reigning USA Junior Folkstyle National Champ and a two-time All American at Fargo. Rachel recently placed 7th at the Sergeant Bluffs Invitational in a 16-man bracket. Not only is she successful in female only tournaments she is successful against the males.

Ballard also to our knowledge is the first high school team to have sisters on the roster. Rachel’s younger sister Nicole will wrestle JV at 113/120 tonight as she fights for a spot on the varsity lineup. Both of the sisters have aspirations to wrestle in college and on the olympic female circuit.

The other female wrestler expected to wrestle in the varsity dual is Norwalk’s Allanah Vetterick. Vetterick fell in love with the sport in third grade after watching her cousin Kyler Kiner from Ogden, IA wrestle in youth tournaments. Just like Rachel and Nicole, Allanah is a highly decorated female wrestler. She is a five time USGWA State Champion and took home a Conflict at Carver female title in October. Allanah looks to build her résumé by qualifying and placing at the Iowa High School State Championships.

What is also special about tonight’s meet is what takes place before the JV/Varsity dual. Ballard and Norwalk will wrestle youth exhibition matches. Typically you will see this happen here and there but Ballard and Norwalk head coaches are trying to start a trend. Ballard and Bondurant plan to have over 15 exhibition youth matches at their next dual. “This is an opportunity for both communities to showcase our future in this sport.” said Ballard Head Coach Nick Britton.

“The Norwalk wrestling community is one big family. It is important we get every level together during the season. Little kids get excited being around the old kids and it’s great to see our high school team watching and supporting our youth.” said Norwalk Head Coach Brandon Schmitz.

As fans, wrestlers, coaches and media we have to continue to find ways to grow our sport and these two programs are clearly doing their part. “Having the youth and female wrestling showcased tonight is an opportunity to grow our sport and put some more fans in the seats.” said Nick Britton.

Below are some interesting facts we found about female wrestling in Iowa. If you are near Huxley make sure you get to tonights meet. The youth wrestling matches will start at 5:30PM.

Women’s wrestling is part of United World Wrestling and USA Wrestling’s future. They represent the inclusive, engaging, necessary change to wrestling that won back a temporary spot in the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games. The country is making strides but how does Iowa stand up?

Here are the details.

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Waldorf college started their women’s program in 2010. That may account for some of the all ages USA wrestling membership increase between 2008 and 2013. Currently there are 25 women’s college freestyle programs with an extra 16 expected to be added in the next two seasons.
It is tough to find true hard numbers out there so take this next number with a grain of salt. Believe it or not there were nearly 9,000 high school girls that competed in school sponsored wrestling events in 2013; Iowa had only 36 female high school wrestlers. 36!!!
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* Note that the National Wrestling Coaches Association reports participation, meet records, names of athletes and their schools. Grades 9-12 NWCA girls participation for 2012-2013 in Iowa is only 36. The data reported in the graph above is from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), generated from “annual school reports” and includes an extra 30 unverifiable athletes. It is presumed this may happen due to some combined school districts having multiple schools report the same athlete.