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The Student News Site of Brentwood High School

The Nest

The Student News Site of Brentwood High School

The Nest

The Student News Site of Brentwood High School

The Nest

The Brentwood girls wrestling team takes on Wonder Woman

Over winter break, BHS wrestlers traveled to Columbia for one of the nation’s most competitive tournaments.
The+girls+wrestling+team+dines+in+at+Shakespeares+Pizza+in+Columbia%2C+Missouri%2C+after+a+long+day+of+wrestling+matches+at+the+Wonder+Woman+Tournament.
The girls wrestling team dines in at Shakespeare’s Pizza in Columbia, Missouri, after a long day of wrestling matches at the Wonder Woman Tournament.
Coach Hughes prepares Helen Gwynn (10) for a wrestling match this season.

Did you know that under MSHSAA (Missouri State High School Activities Association), girls wrestling wasn’t even considered an official sport in Missouri until five years ago? 

As soon as the sport was made official in 2018, Michael Wakim Jr. came up with the idea to start a non-profit girls’ wrestling tournament. The tournament’s name is Wonder Woman, and Wakim Jr. is now the founder and president of WWOWF (The Wonder Woman of Wrestling Foundation). He is also the assistant coach at Lift for Life Academy and the Director of Wrestling operations. 

In an email interview with The Nest, Wakim Jr. explained, “The name Wonder Woman was the first thing that came to my mind. If this was going to be the most challenging girls’ tournament in the country, what better name than Wonder Woman?” 

After nine months of hard work building an organization, the first Wonder Woman tournament happened on January 5, 2019. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the tournament was canceled the following year. 

This past December marked the 5th anniversary of the Wonder Woman tournament, and it took place from December 29th to the 30th in Columbia, Missouri. At the game, 80 teams competed, including Brentwood’s women’s wrestling team. 

In total, eighty teams participated, along with six hundred girls. One of the BHS wrestlers who competed is sophomore Helen Gwynn. She said, ¨The competition was tough. Most of us didn’t win any matches, but it was an excellent opportunity for all of us to grow. I had a perfect time with the team and look forward to returning next year! The Brentwood girls wrestling team hopes to look forward and win more matches next year.¨

¨We did our best,” said Coach James Abshier. “Ashlynn won a match, and Danyielle [Wren] and Helen Gwynn came very close to winning matches against close opponents.”

The tournament was very competitive with four of the top 12 teams in the country in attendance plus 20 nationally ranked girls. “Dozens upon dozens of state placers and state qualifiers were also there,” Coach Abshier said.

Every year before the tournament, Wakim Jr. goes to Columbia after Christmas to prepare the gym which takes about 6 hours. Then he and his team start preparing the equipment to stream on Flowrestling. This year, the matches on December 29th began at 9:00 am and ended around 7:30 pm. The second day followed the same schedule with awards handed out at the end. Wakim said, ¨It is a long week of 14-16 hour days, but as exhausted as I am at the end, seeing the girls smile and cheer and wrestle their tails off makes it all worth it.”

Wakim Jr. is looking toward the future and hopes to expand The Wonder Woman of Wrestling Foundation. The non-profit organization added a new rookie JV tournament, which means girls new to wrestling can compete in one of the Wonder Woman tournaments. The organization’s mission is to host the biggest girls wrestling tournament in the country. The next move is to host an event in Florida and add more teams for the future of Wonder Woman.

 

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About the Contributor
Kamille Jefferson
Kamille Jefferson, Staff Writer
Kamille is a freshman at Brentwood High School. She has a huge passion for art and animation and would love to be an animator when she is older. She is a fan of most sports, including baseball, soccer, football, and hockey. She became inspired to draw and animate after winning an art contest when she was young.

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