Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

You go, Girls!



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When I was in high school in Iowa, girls were the center of attention during the winter. This was not because I attended an all-boys boarding school (though I did); nor was it because Sports Illustrated published its now-iconic swimsuit issue (it did). It was merely because high school girls' basketball was the biggest thing in the state of Iowa at the time. Really. Girls' games regularly outdrew the guys' game in attendance...and it wasn't the lingerie-clad spectacle women are subjected to today, either. Uniforms were modest by any standard. The fact was that they were amazing, regularly featuring games in which a single player scored more than fifty points per contest!
Of course, it must be mentioned that these were the days in which the girls' teams fielded a starting team of six players, three played offense and three played defense. No player passed half-court without a violation being called. I hesitate to guess at the reason, but I suspect it was the same reason that girls were not allowed any kind of real opportunity in college as athletes until the passage of Title IX or allowed to run farther than a half mile in the Olympics for the longest time. Iowa was a hotbed of girls' basketball and opened it up for every other state and every other high school (and probably grade school) girl. Now, change has happened again...in Iowa.
Cedar Falls freshman Cassy Herkleman set a new standard by being the first girl in history to win a wrestling match against a boy. Ottumwa sophomore Megan Black also qualified for the tournament but lost by a pin in the first round. It's Herkleman's story that makes it interesting.
Cassy (20-13 on the season as a 112-pounder) was to face Joel Northrup (35-4) in the first round. Rather than face a female, Northrup defaulted, giving Hecklemann the win. This is interesting for a couple of reasons: Northrup was a legitimate state champion contender...but he's no chauvinist. He noted that "Wrestling is a combat sport that can get violent. My faith does not allow me to interact with women in that way." and he was serious. Giving up a dream because of faith issues garners much respect, and that's exactly how Cassy's father put it. He lauded the kid's class and his manner and spoke glowingly of him, hoping that he had great success in the loser's bracket.
While not everyone is comfortable with girls wrestling against guys in high school, this seems to be something of a positive situation. It should be noted that three states have "girls only" state wrestling programs: California, Hawaii, and Texas.
Title IX has taken females a long way, baby.
But the road stretches out even further, despite the fact that Erin Andrews just signed a shoe deal with Reebok.

1 Comments:

At 8:09 AM, Blogger UpsideDown Kate said...

Our local cupcake place has the "maple piggie" which has bacon crumbles both in the center and sprinkled on the top of maple syrup flavored cake. Mmmmm

 

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