For the first time ever, Chadron High School has two divisions in its wrestling season — boys and girls — as this marks the first year the State of Nebraska has sanctioned girls wrestling.
A total 19 wrestlers chose to hit the mats this season, 12 boys and seven girls, and coach Jamie Slingsby said it’s a good surprise to see that many girls sign up. The 2020-21 season saw Fia Rasmussen on the team, though she was wrestling boys.
Slingsby said the new sanction designating girls will only wrestle other girls was a likely prompt in more students trying out.
Rasmussen placed in the Nebraska Scholastic Wrestling Coaches Association state tournament, earning a fourth place finish, so she’s doing well, Slingsby said. Further the team will receive benefits from returning state qualifiers Rhett Cullers and Ryan Bickel.
But though there’s some changes to the lineup this season, it will be some time before the Cardinals see any action at home. Both teams open on Thursday Dec. 2 — the girls at Hemingford and the boys at Gering — and Slingsby is looking forward to the first competition for the girls and the boys facing the returning state champions.
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December will see plenty of action on the road, with the boys grappling at Cozad Dec. 4, Valentine Dec. 9, Gordon-Rushville Dec. 11, and Valentine Dec. 17 and 18. The girls will not be at Cozad, but follow the same schedule the rest of the month.
January 6 marks the first home dual for the boys, and both teams will see action in Chadron on Jan. 22.
Slingsby is appreciative of the hard work both teams have been putting in at practice.