The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


Northwest introduces its first all-girls wrestling team

This year, winter sports welcomes the girls wrestling team with nine members.
Freshman Olivia Barlows during a wrestling match, Dec. 14. (Photo courtesy of Olivia Barlows)

The girls’ wrestling season started this school year in November after coach Anna Hernandez expressed her coaching interest to BVNW. Currently, they are sitting with nine athletes, a majority of the girls being freshmen. Hernandez said she is expecting the program to grow, with hopes of doubling in size to establish a varsity team. 

Freshman Olivia Barlows is an athlete on the team who believes wrestling has made her prioritize her schedule between homework, outside conditioning and softball season in the spring. 

“I know I have a certain amount of time to do my work so wrestling has actually helped me stay on track with homework,” Barlows said. 

Similar to Barlows, freshman Ava Pulliam said wrestling forces her to keep up and get work done. 

The stereotype of a wrestler is thought to be masculine and stacked with muscle, but Hernandez said the girls are going against that cliché. 

“I have little queens on my team,” Hernandez said. “They are all cute girls but you would expect some scary girl to come out there.”

Additionally, Barlows said the image of the “picture perfect” wrestler does not apply to her. One aspect Pulliam mentioned was the stereotypes surrounding wrestling. Pulliam said that the sport is very sexualized. 

The girls’ wrestling team demonstrates a unique camaraderie considering this is their first year as a team, Hernandez said. 

“She is the best coach ever to be honest because she is understanding and makes us feel included when we feel separated from the guys,” Barlows said. “It’s good that we have a girl coach because some guys don’t understand what we go through.”

Hernandez emphasized the friendly nature of competitions, where support prevails, win or lose. 

“The [girls and their opponents] support each other so that always makes me really happy to see,” Hernandez said.  “It’s been nice to see those connections growing.”

As the season progresses, the girls are gearing up for regionals on Feb.10 at Olathe North, inviting students to come cheer and bring attention to this added winter sport at BVNW.

Looking ahead, girls interested in wrestling have the opportunity to try out, set to take place at the beginning of the next school year. 

“If you’re just somewhat interested, just go for it even if you’re nervous because it is such a small sport at our school,” Barlows said. “Situations like that are how I’ve made some of my closest friends.”


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About the Contributor
Danielle Croom, Writer
Danielle Croom is a sophomore and a writer for “The Express.” Outside of newspaper, she is involved in KAY Club, Fashion Club, NEHS and Muse Literary Magazine. She loves to babysit and find ways to help out the community. In her free time, Danielle enjoys going on coffee dates with her mom, waking up early to work and binge-watching “Gilmore Girls.” Danielle is eager to contribute to BVNW publications and she is excited to work with her friends. 

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