Girls wrestling is growing across the country, and Todd Goolsby says Oklahoma needs to take a leadership role.
Goolsby, who supervises wrestling for the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association, is pushing ahead with plans to stage an exhibition state tournament in 2020.
If all goes according to plan, it would be held in conjunction with the annual boys championships, Feb. 28-29, at State Fair Arena in Oklahoma City.
“We feel like the girls sport is really taking off,” Goolsby said. “Oklahoma high school wrestling is considered to be a leader nationally, and with that being said, we need to be right there moving forward with a plan.”
Optimally, Goolsby would like to see eight girls competing in each of 10, 12 or 14 weight classifications. He plans to survey Oklahoma coaches next month on how many classes they feel are necessary.
First-round matches would kick off the Friday morning session of the 2020 championships with girls wrestling simultaneously on eight mats. Semifinals would be on Friday night and the championship finals would be on Saturday, Goolsby said.
The girls will receive medals for their work. It won’t be a sanctioned OSSAA activity, but sanctioning as an official OSSAA sport is likely to follow in a year or two, Gooldsby said.
Goolsby said he doesn’t know how many wrestlers Oklahoma will have in 2019-20, but there were about 90 last season — enough to fill 10 or 12 brackets of eight wrestlers each, Goolsby said.
Nationally, girls participation has grown from about 800 in 1994 to more than 16,000 annually.
In April, Broken Arrow became the first Oklahoma high school to start a girls program. The Tigers hired Cassidy Jasperson, a former Oklahoma City University standout, to head the program.
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