DES MOINES, Iowa — There is now a new athletic opportunity for female student-athletes in Des Moines Public Schools: wrestling.
2022 is the first year the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union has sanctioned the sport.
“As a school district, we take pride in being able to offer extra-curricular and co-curricular opportunities that meet the growing needs of our talented and culturally-diverse student population,” said Jason Allen, director of district activities at DMPS. “The addition of high school girls wresting further supports our commitment to expand access and opportunities for our female athletes, honoring the legacy and spirit of women past and present during the 50th anniversary of Title IX.”
Girls from across the district's high schools will have the opportunity to participate on a district-wide united team. East High School will be the host school and sponsor.
Samantha Bush will lead the girls wrestling program as head coach, rotating between schools to work with participating students.
“I believe that wrestling is a great sport for young women,” Bush said in a release. “It teaches responsibility, self-defense and it gives a sense of great self-confidence which I believe to be very important for young women everywhere.”
Bush currently serves as assistant coach of the woman's wrestling club at Grand View University. Previously, Bush participated in women's wrestling in high school and at MacMurray College in Illinois.
“I am so excited to be part of this historic inaugural season, not only for East High and Des Moines Public Schools, but for the entire sport of women’s wrestling," Bush said. "I am looking forward to working with the girls and being able to give back to the sport that helped me grow as a person and an athlete!”
In addition to Bush, assistant coaches will be assigned to the Hoover-North program as well as at East, Lincoln and Roosevelt.
The first day of practice for the team is Oct. 31, according to the IGHSAU. Competition can begin Nov. 14.
For more information, visit the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union’s web site.