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Female wrestlers down for the count

Junior+Jannah+Bongato+joined+the+wrestling+team+to+learn+how+to+fight.
Junior Jannah Bongato joined the wrestling team to learn how to fight.

Junior Jannah Bongato joined the wrestling team to learn how to fight.

Cleveland Publications

Cleveland Publications

Junior Jannah Bongato joined the wrestling team to learn how to fight.

Abbygail Eleccion, Staff reporter

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A record number of four girls joined the wrestling team this year, although none stayed long enough to end the season.

Because wrestling has been a predominantly male sport at Cleveland, this has been an exciting surge in numbers. In recent years, more and more girls have been joining the once exclusive team. But with a stream of eager girls coming, keeping them has been the new problem.

Junior Jannah Bongato was eager to learn how to wrestle.

“I just needed to learn to fight a little in case someone tries to come at me,” she said.

However, coming into the team was intimidating. Despite the team’s attempt to be welcoming towards girls, it was still hard for her to feel comfortable.

“You’re a girl so you’re kind of like the minority of the group and so it was weird,” Bongato explained. “I felt left out … If there were other girls, I felt like I could at least relate to them.”

Bongato was the last of the girls to quit but ultimately, her leaving was due to having too many AP classes to keep up with. She plans to rejoin the team for her senior year.

Sophomore Mariana Sijera joined for a similar reason to Bongato. She wanted to be proactive about her safety.

“I joined as defensive move, to learn protect myself.”

For Sijera, practices were fun and exciting. She also had a lot of respect for the coaching style of Dave Rosario.

“I love him. He’s so supportive and … wanted us to succeed,” she said.

Unfortunately for Sijera, she got an internal knee injury during the season. According to her, it was due to the energy and aggressiveness of the sport. This injury caused her to end the season early.

Sijera wants to encourage other girls who are interested to come out next season because it helps develops essential skills.

“If nothing else they should do it to build confidence in themselves and to know that they’re equal.”

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Female wrestlers down for the count