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Girls Wrestling Has Grown Nationwide for 28 Consecutive Years, According to NFHS

Nationwide Participation

The NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations) has released the results of its annual sports participation survey. And, once again, girls wrestling has had great growth in its participation numbers over the previous academic year. With 16,562 participating wrestlers this year, girls wrestling had a 13.5% increase as compared to last season’s 14,587. Girls wrestling moved ahead of girls dance (14,875 participants) moving up to the 18th spot in participation for girls. There is a good chance that wrestling could jump ahead of gymnastics this upcoming season; especially with Colorado (as a pilot program), Massachusetts and Oregon joining Alaska, California, Hawaii, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington in sponsoring girls wrestling state championships.

Something that needs to be noted about the results; the survey is voluntarily submitted by each state. Each state, in turn, gets their numbers from individual schools reporting their numbers, also voluntarily. As a result, there is a high probability of underreporting. It is, therefore, very important that every school, with at least one wrester-girl, do their part to ensure the NFHS gets the most accurate information possible. That way, they can allocate the proper amount of personnel and resources when making decisions affecting the sport.

I have included a summary of the national participation numbers as of 1979 below.

Some interesting facts:

  • Girls Wrestling has grown nationwide for 28 consecutive years (since the 1990-91 season).
  • In the last ten years, girls high school has had a 174.88% growth in the number of participants.
  • The NFHS began to give girls wrestling its own data column after the 2003-04 season and has continued to do so ever since. Prior to that, girls wrestling was grouped with low-participation sports.
  • Prior to the 1979-80 season, girls participation in any sport was either not tracked or was included in the boys numbers.

On a side note, I want to thank the 48 women who, in 1979, and the 8, who in 1982, set foot on the mats to compete. I would like to believe that their pioneering spirit planted a seed in some coaches’ minds that made them see the potential in girls wrestling. I wish I knew what happened to them as the following year reported participation fell to 0 in both groups.

High School Girls Wrestling Nationwide Participation Numbers
Academic Year # of Schools # of Participants Participation Rank (Girls Only)/
Total number of Sports
% Up/Down (Participants)
vs. previous year
2017-18 2,351 16,562 18/82 13.5% Up
2016-17 2,091 14,587 19/80 8.1% Up
2015-16 1,941 13,496 19/78 17.4% Up
2014-15 1,806 11,496 20/62 16% Up
2013-14 1,516 9,904 20/60 13.5% Up
2012-13 1,602 8,727 22/65 5.9% Up
2011-12 1,441 8,235 23/50 12% Up
2010-11 1,215 7,351 23/50 19.8% Up
2009-10 1,009 6,134 25/50 1.8% Up
2008-09 1,034 6,025 23/50 9% Up
2007-08 1,287 5,527 22/47 9.5% Up
2006-07 1,227 5,048 23/48 1.5% Up
2005-06 1,081 4,975 22/47 14.8% Up
2004-05 941 4,334 22/49 8.1% Up
2003-04 808 4,008 24/53 6.3% Up
2002-03 805 3,769 25/52 10.7% Up
2001-02 798 3,405 24/48 12.3% Up
2000-01 896 3,032 26/53 22.6% up
1999-2000 734 2,474 24/43 4.8% Up
1998-99 661 2,361 25/43 23.8% Up
1997-98 619 1,907 24/44 17.1% Up
1996-97 217 1,629 24/44 39.9% Up
1995-96 225 1,164 24/44 44.8% Up
1994-95 249 804 23/43 2.7% Up
1993-94 220 783 25/43 93.8% Up
1992-93 50 404 25/38 84.5% Up
1991-92 50 219 27/38 65.9% Up
1990-91 21 132 29/38 17.9% Up
1989-90 101 112 31/38 45.1% Down
1988-89 25 204 27/38 64.5% Up
1987-88 Undetermined 124 29/37 588.9% Up
1986-87 16 18 31/37 1,700% Up
1985-86 1 1 30/37 83% Down
1984-85 3 6 33/37
1983-84 0 0 100% Down
1982-83 Undetermined 8 31/37
1981-82 0 0
1980-81 0 0 100% Down
1979-80 3 48 32/41

Statewide Participation

I have also included numbers for California below. Figuring out the growth of the sport in California is a bit more difficult as it seems CIF tended to report updated data only every two years (between 1987 and 1991 it used the same numbers every year). Fortunately, that changed with the 2010-11 season. CIF has been reporting updated numbers every year since then.

Some interesting facts:

  • In the last ten years, girls high school has had a 254.05% growth in the number of participants.
  • California has accounted for over 20% of high school wrestler-girls in the United States each year since the 1998-99 season (and in all likelihood since the 1993-94 season, if we assume the missing data gives us similar numbers).
High School Girls Wrestling California Participation Numbers
Academic Year # of Schools # of Participants % Up/Down (Participants)
vs. previous year
% CA Contributed
to The National Total
2017-18 740 5,286 17.3% Up 31.9%
2016-17 654 4,505 9.7% Up 30.8%
2015-16 645 4,104 49.4% Up 30.4%
2014-15 523 2,747 20.2% Up 23.9%
2013-14 493 2,286 8.9% Up 23.1%
2012-13 472 2,099 4.5% Up 24.1%
2011-12 474 2,008 5.1% Up 24.4%
2010-11 408 1,910 27.9% Up 26%
2009-10 227 1,493 24.3%
2008-09 227 1,493 30.7% Up 24.8%
2007-08 366 1,142 20.7%
2006-07 366 1,142 7.2% Down 22.6%
2005-06 322 1,230 24.7%
2004-05 322 1,230 28.5% up 28.4%
2003-04 269 957 23.9%
2002-03 269 957 27.3% Up 25.4%
2001-02 281 752 22.1%
2000-01 281 752 46.3% Up 24.8%
1999-2000 212 514 0.4% Up 20.8%
1998-99 210 494 Can’t Determine 25.9%
1997-98 Not Found Not Found Can’t Determine Can’t Determine
1996-97 Not Found Not Found Can’t Determine Can’t Determine
1995-96 Undetermined 541 140.4% Up 46.5%
1994-95 112 225 28%
1993-94 112 225 316.7% Up 28.7%
1992-93 Undetermined 54 13.4%
1991-92 Undetermined 54 63.6% Up 24.7%
1990-91 Undetermined 33 25%
1989-90 Undetermined 33 29.5%
1988-89 Undetermined 33 16.2%
1987-88 Undetermined 33 230% Up 26.6%
1986-87 9 10 56%
1985-86 0 0 100% Down 0%
1984-85 1 1 17%
1983-84 0 0 100% Down
1982-83 Undetermined 6 75%
1981-82 0 0
1980-81 0 0
1979-80 0 0 0%

3rd Annual Best High School Girls Programs in California Top-30 List

Wrestling season is right around the corner so what better time to release our 3rd Annual Best High School Girls Programs in California Top-30 List?!

In 2011, when the first official CIF girls wrestling state championships took place, 154 schools participated. 2018 saw 220 schools competing (an increase of 28 schools over last year). Since that first championship tournament, 491 different schools have sent at least one wrestler to represent them. This year, 50 schools that had not sent a single wrestler to the tournament since 2011 were represented by at least one! Programs have come and gone but a few have continued to thrive year after year. Something to note, this year each of the 14 weight classes had 25 entries versus the previous year’s 24.

Inevitably, at the end of each season, the question gets asked, which are the best high school girls wrestling programs in California? This is not a question that is answered as easily as one might think. What are the criteria that should be used to decide? Does the number of individual champions trump the number of team championships? Does a team with acclaimed consistent coaching out-rank one from a school that has supported girls wrestling year after year but has been unable to find staff that will stay longer than a season or two?  And, is a program with a single wrestler that places at state better than a one that sends 6 wrestlers that do not place? Some coaches have even commented that the number of boys sent to their respective state championships should be included when deciding, in effect throwing the girls back into the fold that they have tried to separate themselves from for so long.

As difficult as the question may be to answer, I have decided to make an attempt at doing just that. In the year’s best list, I have taken 2 factors into consideration and given them point values. The first is the number of wrestlers sent to state. The second is the final top-8 placings of wrestlers, giving a higher value to higher placings.

I have also included an All-time best program list. The method I used to decide who goes on that list is to simply take the points accumulated by a program in each year and add them up. There are 3 points of contention I expect to hear:

  1. The fact that I only go back to 2011 in my rankings, when the first CIF-sanctioned state championship was held, there may be some who believe a certain program is not being recognized because I did not go back far enough in time. To those who feel that way, I apologize and can only say that I wish getting hold of records from earlier dates was as easy as getting them since the time CIF recognized the sport.
  2. There will be those who feel the programs at the top of the list are there because they dominated the sport when the competition was not as developed as it now is and it will be difficult to catch up to them. My response to that is, a program cannot rest on its laurels it must continue to work, even if it no longer dominates the state championships, every wrestler it sends to state cements its standing atop the list (and sending wrestlers to state is no longer a cakewalk). As for a program being unable to catch-up, I believe this sport is here to stay, I think there is plenty of time for the All-time list to see some changes (pun intended).
  3. Some will wonder why some schools are not in the top 30 when they have had a dominant wrestler, for example Gabby Garcia (Valencia of Placentia)— a 4-time state champion (2013-2016). Unfortunately, even though Miss Garcia is a legend in her own right, a single wrestler cannot constitute a top program. Schools can build a successful program out of having a single dominant wrestler but the program, to be considered a top program, in my opinion, needs to continue to produce results beyond that single wrestler.

As I said at the opening, there have been 491 different schools that have competed at state since 2011, for the sake brevity I will only list the top-30 in both the year and the all-time list but I will give as much context and justification as possible to each listing. I hope you enjoy this list and see it as my humble effort to continue to celebrate and record the history of this great sport. If someone disagrees with my lists or methods please feel free to contact me, I will be more than happy to discuss differing viewpoints but the bottom line is that these ranking are a product of what I consider the most important factors in rating a successful program and they may be very different from other people’s.

Section codes are as follow:

  • Central Coast Section, CCS
  • Central Section, CS
  • Los Angeles City Section, LACS
  • North Coast Section, NCS
  • Sac-Joaquin Section, SJS
  • San Diego Section, SDS
  • Southern Section, SS

 

Top-30 All-time Best High School Girls Wrestling Programs in California (as of 2018)

In the table below, along with the school’s all-time ranking, I have also included their all-time ranking prior to the end of the 2017-2018 season, the total number of wrestlers they have sent to the state championships, as well as the total number of placers the school has had since 2011.

Rank School Section All-time Ranking Previous Season Total Wrestlers to Have Competed Total Placers (including Champions) Total Top-3 Placers (including Champions) Total Champions
1 Northview SS 1 64 29 14 3
2 Selma CS 3 39 20 12 11
3 West Covina SS 2 37 19 10 5
4 James Logan NCS 5 32 18 6 2
5 Albany NCS 4 34 15 8 4
6 Jesse Bethel SJS 6 26 12 6 1
7 Corona SS 15 21 13 6 0
7 Enochs SJS 8 15 12 8 4
9 Hillcrest SS 10 26 15 4 0
9 Pioneer Valley SS 7 31 9 2 1
11 Birmingham LACS 16 21 10 6 4
12 Del Oro SJS 13 26 8 4 3
13 Benicia SJS 11 17 10 7 2
14 Santa Ana SS 9 27 10 3 1
15 Terra Nova CCS 14 27 7 4 0
15 Tokay SJS 12 26 7 4 0
17 San Fernando LACS 27 32 4 3 1
18 Walnut SS 19 22 8 3 0
19 Menlo-Atherton CCS 30 17 10 3 1
20 Newark Memorial NCS 23 20 7 2 2
21 Steele Canyon SDS 17 25 7 1 0
22 Santa Paula SS 18 23 7 0 0
23 Porterville CS 20 19 9 2 0
24 Millikan SS 36 21 8 1 0
25 Overfelt CCS 23 19 4 3 2
26 Lincoln-Stockton SJS 38 14 6 3 2
27 Scotts Valley CCS 23 16 5 3 2
28 Baldwin Park SS 21 18 6 1 0
28 La Sierra SS 21 12 6 4 1
28 San Dimas SS 30 14 6 2 0

Top-30 Best High School Girls Programs in California of the 2017-2018 Season

In the table below, I have listed the top-30 programs out of 220 schools that participated in the state championships of the 2017-2018 wrestling season. I have also included the programs’ all-time ranking as of the end of the season.

Something that might be noticed, my formulation does not guarantee a top-spot by simply having a champion, though it does help. The best way to insure a high ranking in the list is to send a large delegation and to get as many placers as possible.

Click on the link for a PDF copy of the Top 30 wrestling programs by year rev_2018

Rank School Section All-time Ranking After 2018 Season Competing Wrestlers Champions Top-3 Placers (including Champions) Placers (including Champions)
1 Selma CS 2 8 3 3 6
2 San Fernando LACS 17 9 1 2 2
3 Corona SS 7 (tied) 5 0 3 3
3 Northview SS 1 6 1 2 3
5 Menlo-Atherton CCS 19 6 0 1 3
6 Birmingham LACS 11 6 1 1 2
6 James Logan NCS 4 4 0 2 3
8 Albany NCS 5 6 0 0 2
9 Hillcrest SS 9 (tied) 4 0 1 2
9 Newark Memorial NCS 20 3 1 1 2
11 Elk Grove SJS 59 (tied) 4 0 0 2
11 Millikan SS 24 3 0 1 3
11 Mt. Whitney CS 132 (tied) 4 0 1 1
11 Upper Lake NCS 73 (tied) 2 0 1 2
11 Walnut SS 18 4 0 0 2
16 Del Oro SJS 12 3 1 1 1
16 Ridgeview CS 190 (tied) 2 0 0 2
18 Cerritos SS 167 (tied) 3 0 1 1
18 Monroe, James LACS 147 (tied) 3 0 1 1
20 Enochs SJS 7 (tied) 2 1 1 1
20 Lincoln-Stockton SJS 26 2 1 1 1
20 Mira Costa SS 109 (tied) 3 0 1 1
20 McClatchy SJS 173 (tied) 2 1 1 1
20 Terra Nova CCS 15 (tied) 3 0 0 2
25 Benicia SJS 13 2 0 1 1
25 Bella Vista SJS 35 (tied) 2 0 1 1
25 Casa Grande NCS 44 (tied) 2 0 0 2
25 Rodriguez SJS 156 (tied) 3 0 0 1
29 Ayala SS 139 (tied) 2 0 1 1
29 Chaminade SS 230 (tied) 1 1 1 1
29 Granada Hills LACS 202 (tied) 5 0 0 0
29 Gilroy CCS 67 (tied) 2 0 1 1
29 Kennedy SS 49 (tied) 2 0 1 1
29 Rowland SS 109 (tied) 1 1 1 1
29 Westminster SS 132 (tied) 1 1 1 1

Congratulations to the Cadet Team California 2018 Fargo Team Champions

In a national tournament where 28 states fielded teams, the cadets of team California bested the rest of the teams with a total of 79 team points. New York. the second place team was a good 17 points behind with 62.

In individual results, Team California had 19 placers out of 33 wrestlers, including one champion and three finalists.

The Junior team will see action starting Tuesday, July 17, and we will undoubtedly see quite a few, if not all, of the cadet team members, compete in that age-group also. Until then, join me in congratulating cadet team California, the 2018 Fargo Team Champions!

Top Ten Teams

1 California 79pts
2 New York 62pts
3 Illinois 48pts
4 Washington 40pts
5 Pennsylvania 38pts
6 Texas 36pts
7 Hawaii 29pts
8 Colorado 23pts
9 Missouri 22pts
10 Nevada 17pts

Individual Results

94 lbs
Melissa F. Lee 3rd
Faith Vega 7th

100 lbs
Hailey Ward 6th
Mikayla Guevarra DNP
Lizette Rodriguez DNP

106 lbs
Genesis Quirarte DNP

112 lbs
Charlotte Kouyoumtjian 2nd
Greta Gustafson 8th

117 lbs
Alisha Narvaez 5th
Samantha Barragan 6th
Desinee Lopez 7th
Makayla Rydbeck DNP

122 lbs
Melanie Mendoza 4th
Elis Carvalho DNP
Samantha Snow DNP

127 lbs
Ariah Valdez DNP

132 lbs
Cheyenne Bowman Champion
Allyson Arrington DNP
Tiera Jimerson DNP
Nallely Rivadeneira 6th

138 lbs
Annie N. Hua 5th
Beyonce Garcia 6th

144 lbs
Beatriz Zubiran 8th
Emmily Patneaud DNP

152 lbs
Ezra Vavao DNP
Gianna Anaya DNP

164 lbs
Katja Osteen 2nd
Alia Abushi 3rd
Ariana Pereira DNP

180 lbs
Adelina Parra 2nd
America Lopez 6th
Juliannah Bolli DNP

200 lbs
Hollie Espinoza 5th

SoCalWrestlerGirl.com has Added a New Feature

WCWA Schools Majors Database Added

In order to help wrestler-girls and their families with the college selection process. SoCalWrestlerGirl.com has added a new feature: the WCWA Schools Majors Database. The idea is actually a product of a question made in the SoCalWrestlerGirl Facebook group which, though a closed group, anyone is welcome to join (come to learn and/or educate others).

The database is provided as a guide for anyone interested in attending a WCWA member school. It is not intended as a replacement for visiting a school’s website, speaking to an academic adviser, or reading the course catalog.

There are a few things I would like to mention about the database:

  1. I have included all schools that have WCWA programs or that have announced starting programs. I recommend you check the colleges with women’s wrestling programs page to ensure that the programs will be active by the time you start your college career before committing yourself to any specific program.
  2. This is a considerable undertaking and updating the list will be challenging. I promise to do my best to maintain it. I thank you in advance for your understanding if I do fall behind and the list becomes a little outdated.
  3. Use the search box below to filter the results to match your area of interest. For best results enter only one word, as multiple words may filter out results that might actually be relevant.
  4. Doctorate degrees, certification programs, and minors are not listed.
  5. Degrees are listed at their most general level, concentrations are not listed. For example, if you are looking for Music Education; you will find Music and Education but not the combination. This does not mean that no school offers Music Education but simply that you will actually have to visit the schools’ sites to look further into that very specific degree. I did this to reduce the number of records in the database since majors such as Education can have a large variety of specializations.
  6. I have simplified/converted the major names to those that fall more in line with the naming conventions of the majority of the schools. Once again, you should visit the schools’ sites to look further into specific information about the interested major.
  7. If you do not see the major you are interested in, don’t despair, some schools offer individualized degrees which will allow you to design your own major. Every school calls their program something slightly different but I have labeled it Individualized.
  8. If you come across mistakes, of any kind, please feel free to let me by way of the Contact Us Form.

So, go ahead and click on the link at the beginning of the post to go to the database and if you like it please share it with others that might find a use for it. If there are any other features you would like to see on this site please feel free to let me know!

WCWA to Lose a Program

Bacone College to Discontinue Women’s Wrestling

Yesterday, I was posting about the number of WCWA  programs growing to 48. Today, unfortunately, I’m posting about the number going down by one next season. Yesterday, Bacone College officially announced that it is cutting, among other sports, women’s wrestling.

The college, in Muskogee, Oklahoma, had sponsored the sport since 2015 and Head Coach Geneva Gray (sister of Olympian and three-time world champion Adeline Gray) joined the program in 2016. With a 32-woman roster made up of freshmen and sophomores, the Bacone Warriors appeared ready to make their mark in the upcoming seasons. But that will never be.

Bacone College was facing some unenviable decisions, make changes (sell college land, take out loans, and get rid of some athletic programs) or close their doors forever. They chose the former which will make sure the school stays open at least through next year. Regrettably, the women’s wrestling program won’t be so lucky.

Athletes have all been released from their commitment to the school and are free to join other programs without penalty. A daunting task at this point in the year since most programs have more than likely filled their rosters for the next season. All anyone can hope for is that there is a new program out there that will snatch up these experienced collegiate wrestlers. Hopefully, the same will go for Coach Gray.

There is a lesson to learn from this situation. It’s the same lesson every time a program’s discontinued but I won’t rehash it here. If you’re interested in reading a longer piece on the challenges both student-athletes and schools are currently facing, please read Wentworth Military Academy To Close And The Lesson It Teaches Us.

Best of luck to everyone involved in this sad situation, let’s hope this is the last case of this sort we hear about in a while.

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