There is a new wave of state champion wrestlers to be crowned at Ford Field and Chippewa Valley High School is sending three athletes, all of which are top ranked in their weight classes. Not to mention, they’ll be making history as the first athletes attending the MHSAA’s inaugural girls wrestling state tournament.
I cannot wait to tell these girls’ story. All three have qualified for the first ever @MHSAA GIRLS wrestling state tournament. They’ve watched the boys @ Ford Field in the past, never dreaming they’d be out there one day themselves. @cvhs_bigreds @CVwrestlingteam @ChippewaSports pic.twitter.com/Pol4N9L3Vp— Jeanna Trotman (@JeannaTrotmanTV) March 1, 2022
Junior Elena Gassner, foreign exchange student from Austria, is ranked first in the state in the 110-pound weight class, senior Casey Boni is ranked fourth in class 125, and sophomore Julia Snyder is ranked 13th in 105.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Chippewa Valley wrestling coach Nick Bowers. “It’s something that should have been in the works a long time ago.”
“I had gone the past couple of years to see my teammates and my friends wrestle there, and it was always a dream for me. But being a girl in a male dominated sport, it’s very difficult to get there,” said Boni.
“Ford field, where football players play, that’s such an honor to be a part of it,” said Julia Snyder. “To even have a women’s mat to wrestle on.”
“I am kind of nervous but I am so excited because that would mean so much to me,” said Gassner.
For Gassner, Boni, and Snyder an all-girls wrestling tournament means a chance for them to prove themselves at the highest level.
“It would mean be awesome I’ve been in this room since I was seven,” said Boni. “There are titles all over the walls and this is my first chance I’ll actually be able to get a title and get my name up on the wall like everybody else.”
As for the future, this is the beginning. They hope many other girls will follow in their foot steps en route to a state title.
“It’s so inspiring for these other little girls to grow up and feel like they can do it too,” said Boni.
The boys and girls state wrestling tournament is held at Ford Field starting Friday February 4th and will run through Saturday.