Unsworth, Warriors wrestle in girls’ first yearFeb 01, 2021 03:19PM ● By Greg James
Nativada Unsworth started wrestling five years ago when the Granite School District allowed girls to wrestle again. (Greg James/City Journals)
By Greg James | [email protected]
Taylorsville High School has Granite school District’s most experienced wrestler on its girls team.
“We can now wrestle like a girl,” Taylorsville junior Nativada Unsworth said. “It is different because we are no longer competing against the boys.”
Unsworth competed in the first girls wrestling tournament held in the Granite School District on Dec. 19 at Hunter High School. The Hunter Holiday Bash boasted nearly 50 female wrestlers in the nine weight classes.
She made quick work in her qualifying matches by pinning four of her opponents. She lost in the tournament finals to Katelyn Wolf from Provo High School.
“[Unsworth] has the experience,” Warriors’ girls head coach Jonathan Cox said. “She has done this for quite a few years. She knows her moves and knows what to do.”
Unsworth began wrestling in the seventh grade at Eisenhower Junior High School five years ago. She plays the piano and softball but finds wrestling to be the most challenging.
“It gives me the determination to never give up,” she said. “I like that we can now wrestle against other girls. We can practice against other girls and just wrestle like a girl. We have hip strength and use knowledge of the moves rather than just out-muscle the opponent like the boys do.”
Granite School District voted to allow girls to wrestle five years ago, but the lack of participants forced many of the girls to wrestle boys. This season, the Utah High School Activities Association sanctioned girls wrestling. Girls now wrestle only girls and have their own state championship.
“These girls are going to be seen as trailblazers. This is awesome stuff,” Cox said.
The Warriors have had as many as six girls on the team, but it is growing.
“Girls are different, the weights are different than the boys, but most of all they are more flexible, Cox said. “Some of the moves are different. I think it is easier to coach these girls. They seem more committed and focused on the sport.”
Watching is his daughter wrestle and have success is satisfying to Unsworth’s father, Doyle.
“I think it is great that girls wrestling is a sanctioned sport,” he said. “The past few years, she had trouble because this is thought of as a boys-only club. She has studied her wrestling and listened to her coaches. I hope she has lots of success. I think she is flying under the radar.”
The Warriors’ wrestlers have been recruiting their friends to try out the sport.
“I go around and ask everyone to give it a try,” Unsworth said.
The girls state championship tournament is scheduled to be held Feb. 17 at UVU in Orem.