TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - "We were in the locker room beforehand and I told the girls the best part of competing is the opportunity to compete."
Washburn Rural wrestling head coach Damon Parker was trying to prepare his girls for a first: the first sanctioned girls wrestling dual in the history of Kansas.
The Junior Blues and JC Harmon came out to a packed gym in Topeka on Monday night to start a new era of high school wrestling in the state, as it is the first season where girls wrestling is an official KSHSAA sport.
And in front of a raucous crowd, the wrestlers relished that opportunity to compete.
"You feel like you're Captain Marvel and you're about to go kill some space aliens that are, like, endangering the world," Washburn Rural wrestler Ellise Romine said. "You never think you could feel that way. But walking out here and seeing a crowd of like, over 100 people, it's insane. You feel like you can defeat the world and do anything."
That includes proving a major point.
"We want to prove to a person that not only can we do it, but we can do it with malice," Washburn Rural girls wrestling captain Rebekah Smith said. "We can do it with strength, and we can do it with joy and fun-filled entertainment for other people."