Four Girls Follow Cavallaro’s Footsteps, Join Wrestling Team for 2017-2018 Season

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Photo by Lorallye Partlow

Sophomore Toni Charland wrestles her teammate at practice on December 4, 2017.

Written by Casey Abashian and Ryan Keebaugh

By the end of the 2016-2017 Woodgrove Wrestling Season, senior Catie Cavallaro, who is currently playing lacrosse for East Carolina University, had become the first girl in Virginia to advance to the VHSL State Wrestling Championship meet. First committing to wrestling in her freshman year in November of 2013, Cavallaro broke boundaries and provided an example for not just future Wolverines, but girls throughout the region who wish to wrestle as well. Due to Cavallaro’s success as an athlete, in the community, and in the classroom, the amount of girls on the Wolverine Wrestling Team has doubled, leaving the team with four females for the 2017-2018 season.

Sophomores Toni Charland, Sydney Gregg, Anna Roberts, and freshman Justine Rupprecht are the four girls following in Cavallero’s footsteps, wrestling for the team for the winter season.

Wolverine Wrestling Head Coach Scott Fortney credits the increase of female athletes on the team to not just Cavallero’s success on the mat, but her continued success throughout her two other varsity sports.

“I think that’s probably part of it. There are more girls around different places too, that was right here for them to see. She had tremendous success not only as an athlete overall, wrestling was a part of it.”

The gender difference doesn’t affect the way Fortney coaches his team, treating both genders equally in practice and in meets. “I don’t change one thing or treat them any different, and I don’t have any less expectations or higher expectations of them. There are little things that get away from me sometimes, like I didn’t think about how they have to weigh out in a different locker room after practice and stuff like that, but yeah nothing different on how that goes.”

The continued unity of the Wolverine Wrestling Team is an aspect that can become the building block of a successful 2017-2018 season and is powerful enough to positively become integrated in future Wrestling seasons as well.

Senior leader of the team and VHSL 4A State Finisher Derek Shockey hopes that while the Wrestling Team is very young this season, they continue to stick together and try their best in every competitive aspect of wrestling. “We are going to be real young this year, but it’s expected that everyone steps up and does the best that they can do.”