MONETT, MO. — It was just a couple years ago when the Missouri State High School Activities Association introduced a separate girls wrestling division.
Since then, more and more girls have been going out for the sport each year. The Monett High School wrestling program, known for its longstanding championship history is working towards making their girls team a part of that legacy as well.
When you walk inside the Monett Athletic Complex, you’ll see several championship banners hanging in high above the mat and wall of former Monett wrestlers who made their mark on the program.
“We are a wrestling school,” said Monett girls wrestling coach Justin Semerad. “We’ve had a lot of success you know, the last couple of years, especially.”
But, there’s just one achievement they’re still chasing — a girls wrestling state championship.
“I personally want it pretty bad just because I feel like it will help show that girls can wrestle, too,” said senior Jewelia Willoughby.
For fellow senior Abby Jastal, the quest to get her picture up on that wall is personal.
“It’s been my goal since the beginning,” said Jastal. “My brother’s up on the wall over here. So, every day I see him it’s kind of like a little bit of pressure, but also exciting to hopefully get up there this year.”
Both Abby and Jewelia have been a part of the girls wrestling team since it started. They saw the team go from just four girls to now 11 this season.
“It’s very exciting,” said Willoughby. “I hope that when I come back eventually in a few years that it’ll double.”
“Always wanting to be on the mat and never really getting to be because there was not anything available,” said Jastal. “So, it makes me proud that I started something and I can’t wait to see where it goes.”
While the team has only been in existence for a few years, the championship expectation is the same.
“You know, you’re wearing that Monett, that purple and gold on your chest, it means something and so you need to wrestle like it,” said Semerad. “So, yeah, I’m sure the girls, especially those that have been around the program for a while, they know there’s a lot of high expectations for Monett girls.”
The Monett girls wrestling team will being their season on Thursday, Dec. 3 at Branson High School. To view their full schedule, click HERE.