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Nebraska girls wrestling has already 'exceeded expectations' in participation
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WRESTLING

Nebraska girls wrestling has already 'exceeded expectations' in participation

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Girls wrestling

Ron Higdon, an assistant director responsible for wrestling with the Nebraska Schools Activities Association, pointed to next year’s 50-year anniversary of Title IX when discussing the momentum the sport has picked up. “It’s a great year to start girls wrestling in Nebraska,” he said. Above, the South Sioux City girls' wrestling team chants together after a practice.

Check out Nick Rubek's boy wrestlers to watch for Nebraska in 2021.

There’s a bit of symmetry to the inaugural season of sanctioned girls wrestling in the state of Nebraska.

And it’s not lost on Ron Higdon.

Higdon, an assistant director responsible for wrestling with the Nebraska Schools Activities Association, pointed to next year’s 50-year anniversary of Title IX when discussing the momentum the sport has picked up.

“It’s a great year to start girls wrestling in Nebraska,” he said.

Participation, as individuals and teams, has been at a level that Higdon said no one could have anticipated.

He and officials estimated that 40-50 schools would sign up before the September deadline. That number was as high as 125 before co-ops made the total around 111.

Over the first couple of weeks of practice Higdon has asked teams for numbers, and he conservatively estimates that more than 700 girls are participating in high school wrestling. That’s up from a little more than 300 a year ago, when girls wrestling was considered an emerging sport.

“I knew it would take off,” Higdon said, “but it’s exceeded expectations already.”

Girls will share the biggest stage — including televised state finals at the CHI Health Center — with the boys this season.


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Nick covers high school soccer, wrestling and other sports for The World-Herald.

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