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Wrestling is female; girls look to take advantage of new opportunities in Idaho

Published: Oct. 7, 2020 at 1:59 AM MDT
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RUPERT, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - Idaho is just a year and a half away from an all-girls bracket at the state wrestling championships.

The opportunity gives female athletes more of a chance to bring back hardware to their respective school and for one Minico Spartan, she’s already made her mark.

“Frankie is a leader, she’s got a work ethic that’s unmatched really,” explained Spartan head wrestling coach, Clay Robinson.

While most of her peers are sleeping at 6 a.m., Frankie Graham is leading warm-ups in the Minico High School wrestling room.

Robinson said, “she’s in here every day and the afternoons.”

“My dad wanted me to do it, he said I needed some self-defense, which is shocking too because he didn’t like the idea of girls wrestling initially until I loved it,” Graham added.

“She’s trying to help teammates improve at all times, she’s a valuable asset not just minico wrestling, but girls wrestling,” Robinson exclaimed.

Graham is already a champion, having won the Wiley Dobbs Invitational and the Jaybird Memorial in the girls 116 weight class, followed by the unofficial girls state championship, wrestling at 112 pounds.

“I think in Idaho we all recognize it, we work hard all year and should get a state championship," Graham said.

Last week the Idaho High School Activities Association approved a girls wrestling bracket at the 2021-22 state championships, a groundbreaking move for women’s sports...

Robinson said, “we’ve talked about being the first state champion in the official state championship and get the name in the book and all of that.”

“It would be nice to put in on our ranking and say I am state champion,” Graham added.

Robinson anticipates more girls will join.

“Because I think there are girls who don’t want to come out because they have to wrestle boys.”

And even though Graham grew up wrestling the boys, the junior is embracing the future and challenges her female peers to strive for excellence.

Graham said, “whoever does come out to wrestle, we put in much effort as we can, with all of us.”

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