Bettendorf girls wrestling sees tremendous success and growth
By Brooke Magistrelli
The Bettendorf girls wrestling team placed fourth out of 135 teams at the state tournament in Iowa City this past January.
Senior Isabelle Johnson and sophomore Lexy Petersen both placed eighth in their weight class. Despite being a first-year wrestler for the Bulldogs, senior Hannah Beintema ended her season with a remarkable finish, placing fifth at the state tournament.
“At first I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was very happy with the outcome of the season,” said Beintema.
Senior Ella Schmit brought home another state title for the Bulldogs after dominating the 125 pound weight class. Schmit became the second girl in history to win three state championships.
The girls wrestling team has seen tremendous growth throughout the past year leading to a successful finish for the 2021-22 season. The number of girls wrestling for Bettendorf has jumped from four to 25 just in the past year. Many of the girls had little to no experience in wrestling, yet they were more than willing to give it a try.
“I was incredibly shocked at how easily they took to it all. We had girls that had never wrestled before but they were all competitors, ” said coach Bill Matthys.
It was announced at the state tournament that girls wrestling had been sanctioned as an official sport by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union. It was a historical moment for high school sports and the girls who had been waiting for this moment.
“It’s pretty exciting that I get to leave high school knowing that wrestling is sanctioned for all of the girls in the state,” said Schmit.
Schmit hopes that girls continue to go out for wrestling to only keep the sport growing.
“I hope that girls just keep going out. I hope that the number keeps increasing so there will be more tournaments and opportunities moving forward,“ said Schmit.
Brooke is a junior. This is her first year as a
staff writer for The Growl.