Photo provided by Scott Bayer

Coach Encourages Community To Support Batavia HS First-Ever Girls’ Wrestling Team

The team's first home meet is Wednesday night at 6 p.m.

December 05, 2018 - 11:21 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A west suburban high school wrestling coach is encouraging his community to get behind his newest athletes--the Batavia High School girls’ wrestling team, and show up to the team's first-ever home meet Wednesday night. 

This is the first season Batavia High School has had a girls' wrestling program. Head coach Scott Bayer said there are 11 girls on the team. The team started with 12 girls, but one girl became injured.

"They’re very enthusiastic about it and they’ve been very willing to learn. They’ve been like sponges. It’s been inspirational for a coach to see that," Bayer said.

Bayer said his girl wrestlers compete at whatever weight class they happen to be, that there’s not much weight management that goes on. 

"We’d rather be focused on technique and building your cardiovascular endurance and strength and things like that," he said.

Girls' wrestling is listed as an "emerging" sport by the Illinois High School Association (IHSA).

The Batavia High School coach said he hopes interest shown by girls in wrestling grows a sport that’s been in decline.

Photo provided by Scott Bayer

Bayer went on Facebook, on the "What's Happening in Batavia, IL?" page,  to encourage people in town to support the team and show up for Wednesday night's meet at 6:00 p.m.

Some people who responded online said they could not be there, but offered such comments as "this is awesome" and "Girl power."

As for Bayer, he said, "I’m pretty jazzed up over it."

Bayer said seeing his girls’ team train hard and learn is inspirational. He said the boys’ team embraces the girls' team and sees the girls as little sisters. 

The Facebook post reads: 

Hi there, Batavia. I've been the Head Wrestling Coach at High School for past 7 seasons. Up until this year we have not ever had a single girl on the wrestling team. Recruiting kids to wrestle (boys or girls) is difficult and in most places the sport of wrestling is in decline. (The opposite is true in Batavia thanks to the hard work and dedication of our wrestling community at many levels.) The reason for the sport of wrestling's low participation numbers across the country is that it is a high-commitment, low-glamour, non-immediate-gratification sport . There's a clear individual winner and loser every time out AND it's just the hardest and most grueling damn thing a coach could ask a kid to do. If we're being honest about it, our culture lacks tolerance for things with the aforementioned characteristics.

However, this year, the IHSA classified girls wrestling as an "emerging sport" and I, with the support of our school administration, my coaching staff and our boys' team, decided to go all-in. We made the commitment to recruit, train and submit girl-wrestlers into competitions which were not yet on our schedule and to run a girls' wrestling season concurrent with our boys' season. It's been an extra effort for sure, but to watch our girls in the practice room, to observe their enthusiasm for learning, to watch them support each other mat side, to witness them grow and become combative in drills and in competition has been among the most rewarding experiences of my teaching and coaching career.

Tomorrow, for the first time in school history, Batavia High School will host an all-girls dual meet competition - 3 rounds of team competition featuring girls from 7 schools. I'm inviting you to come out to support them. They are doing something hard. I'm proud of them. You'll be proud of them too. They deserve all of our support.

Action starts at 6 PM in the Batavia High School Middle Gym.

...and it's going to be a blast!

ALSO - our annual "EVENT" where our boys team defends our home mat vs. state power Glenbard North is this Friday!

Another addendum: if anyone is so inclined, we are fundraising for the wrestling program right now. The proceeds will go toward all of the wrestlers on the team and will have a positive impact on the way we promote, equip, outfit and train our athletes as well as maintain our facilities. One of our expenses is getting this new girls program off the ground this year. Please consider donating and/or sharing --!