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Girl power

Wrestling not just for boys anymore
By: Matt Long
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Take a look around Folsom High’s wrestling room during practice and you’ll notice that wrestling isn’t just for boys anymore. The Bulldogs’ roster features four females and they are more than just window dressing. The girls are every bit of wrestler as the boys and take the sport very seriously. The most experienced of the group is junior Tianna Camous, 16. She’s been wrestling for seven years, originally to stay in shape for her first love, football. Once she started doing well, however, she decided to stay with it. “I like wrestling because it’s such an individual sport,” Camous said. “If you wrestle poorly, there’s no teammates to blame, it’s all on you.” Camous is off to a strong start this season, posting an 8-1 record, winning the 138-pound weight class at a girls’ tournament in Fresno. She’s also won a few matches against boys. “When I wrestle guys I’m more defensive because they’re usually stronger than me,” Camous said. “With girls I base my style off them. If they’re aggressive then I try to slow them down and set a good pace and if they’re not aggressive, then I’ll be a little more aggressive.” Camous placed second in the girls’ section tournament and was fifth in the state last year. This year her goal is to win a girls tournament, standing on the podium when she receives the first-place medal. Being the most experienced, Camous is a leader to the other girls on the team, always quick to help out when she sees them doing something wrong or if they ask her for advice. After being the only girl on the team two years ago as a freshman, Camous is glad to have some company. “It’s nice at tournaments when I don’t have to go by myself and I have teammates now,” Camous said. Rachel Glover, a 15-year-old sophomore, is in her second year of wrestling. She wanted to wrestle since she was in sixth grade, but her mom wouldn’t let her because she was worried about her getting hurt. When she reached high school, Glover said it was no longer an issue. Glover, who also plays or has played volleyball, track and field and soccer, said wrestling is by far her favorite sport. “I like being athletic and being involved on a team,” the 132-pounder said. “I enjoy the matches and how it’s just you and your opponent. You have to be ready and make quick decisions.” Glover, who at this point has only wrestled girls, has won about half of her 10 matches or so, taking third in one tournament and finishing tied for fifth in another. The highlight thus far in her wrestling career is winning her first match. “It was my first match that I ever wrestled and I pinned the girl,” Glover said. “It was a lot of fun. Then I got my butt handed to me in my next match so it was back to reality.” Glover’s goal this season is to earn another medal in a tournament. Because she’s the same size as Camous, the two girls often match-up with each other at practice. “She’s helped me a lot,” Glover said. “She’s a good teacher, always showing me what I’m doing wrong.” The team’s other two female wrestlers, 14-year-old freshmen Justine Angello and Katelyn Rosenbauer, are in their first year in the sport, though Angello has wrestled a little with the Mad Dawg Wrestling Club. Both girls got involved with the sport for different reasons. “I started watching UFC and I like to physically challenge myself so I thought I’d give wrestling a try,” Rosenbauer said. “I like the competition. It’s definitely harder than it looks, but I think I’ve picked it up well. It’s really fun.” For Angello, her mom, Theresa, wanted her to pick a sport and she chose wrestling. “Instead of going to watch my brother (Morgan) wrestle, I figured I’d do it too,” Angello said. “The competition is fun and I really like it.” Her older brother, Morgan, is a senior, while her younger brother, James, 11, also helped get her interested in the sport. “James is 11 and he likes to annoy me, so we end up wrestling a lot,” Angello said. “Morgan helps me with my technique, but he’s twice my size so we don’t really wrestle.” Angello is the junior varsity team’s only 103-pounder, so she holds a key spot on the team. She’s had some success this season as well, placing third in her first tournament with boys, while picking up a few other wins along the way as well. Her goal, like Camous, is to win a gold medal at a tournament and take first place. Rosenbauer’s highlight of the season is every match she’s won. “It’s really nice when the referee holds up your hand after you win,” Rosenbauer said. “I know it doesn’t look like much, but when it happens it’s really cool.” Rosenbauer’s goal this season is to become a better wrestler. Because it’s her first year, she’s not expecting too many wins, but she’s glad to have some other girls on the team, including Camous. “She’s a really good wrestler who’s beaten some boys,” Rosenbauer said. “I learn a lot just by watching her.” Folsom High wrestling coach Mike Collier is excited about having girls on the team. “At this rate I expect to have eight girls next year since we went from two last year to four this year,” Collier said. “Tianna’s led the way and I think her success has helped to get other girls interested in it. “It’s a learning experience for me as a coach, but the girls’ competition level has increased exponentially and it’s been interesting to see the growth. Now that Tianna’s been on the team for three years, it’s no big deal now to have girls on the team. There are no issues and the boys have accepted the girls as part of the team.”