Pin It to Win It

Girls Wrestling Makes a Run for the State Title


The student body sends off the wrestling State qualifiers.

Taylor Overby, Senior Staff Writer



Girls Wrestling sent four competitors to the state competition Friday and Saturday in Cypress, placing in two weight classes. 

Sophomore Jada Williams was the star of the night, placing sixth in the 185 weight class and achieving the goal she set for herself last year. 

“It felt really good,” she said. “I felt really proud of myself.”

Her sister, senior Mariana Williams, placed sixth in the 165 weight class. The week leading up to the big day was filled with conditioning and bracket studying. 

“You can’t really change what you do the last week before you go to State,” Head Coach Stephen Gallardo explained. “Because we have Saturday for regionals, and then Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. You can’t change your style or technique because it could mess you up. Plus, that’s the style that got you there in the first place.”

Our drumline, dance and cheer gave the girls a warm send-off Thursday morning. For junior Kaleigh Herron, it was a little overwhelming.

“I’ve never gotten to experience anything big involving sports,” she admitted. “So it felt good getting attention.”

Coach Gallardo was grateful for the love too.  

“The school always has a lot of energy,” he said. “I think the kids really appreciated it. Some of them were even crying. It’s nice to have the support of the school.”

The atmosphere in Cypress was “very serious” to sophomore Mia Brown.

“The first day we went in there to practice, it was kind of bubbly and fun, because everyone was practicing and having a cheerful mood,” she described. “But on the day of State, everyone was pretty serious. I was trying to stay fun still.”

Each of the girls has a different way to warm-up for a match. Kaleigh and Jada both listen to music. 

“I usually just listen to my favorite songs to lock in,” Kaleigh said, “and do a little jog back and forth.”

“I listen to worship music, because I’m a religious person,” Jada explained. “Then I get down there and I’m in my own world and I focus on who I’m going to be wrestling.”

Mia tries to clear her mind and only focus on the match ahead. 

And there are many matches. Five a day, to be exact. To stay energized, the girls drink a lot of Gatorade and eat snacks.

“If I’m being honest, I kind of just sit around,” Kaleigh laughed. 

Jada stays energized by being with her team. 

“We have a pretty humorous team, and everyone’s always laughing,” she enthused, “so even if you lose a match, everyone’s always there in good spirits to cheer you up.”

Looking back, all of the girls have something they’d tweak about one of their matches. In her last match, Kaleigh wishes she would’ve been “more controlled” and “less anxious,” and Mia wanted to be more aggressive. Jada wishes she’d been more confident.

“I did have to go against a girl that was ranked first in the state for one of my matches,” she admitted, “and I was kind of psyched out about it, so I would try to not psych myself out and think, ‘you’re both wrestlers, you guys are in the same weight class, you’re even.’” 

While two of the girls placed this year, they all have their eyes set higher. 

“I’m definitely wanting to place in State next year,” Mia said. “At least third.”

“My goals are to try and go for first place,” Kaleigh explained.  “I don’t think it’s unrealistic, because for it being my first year with no previous experience, I still came very far.”

“One of these days I would like to take the team to state and maybe win a team title,” Coach Gallardo said. “But right now I’m happy to take individuals and see them be successful.”