Mat girls contribute to wrestling team success

Senior Lyra Isenberg has surprised many with her passion for learning and abilities in theater. Isenberg moved to the Bay Area her sophomore year in high school after attending Harwood Union in her home town of South Duxbury, Vt. Throughout her high school career, Isenberg has become involved in Oregon Battle of the Books (OBOB),

They are four girls among 27 male wrestlers and three male coaches in the Pirate wrestling program.

Sophomore Taylor Mckee and freshmen Alexis Gonzalez, Katie Sharp and Chloe Tompkins have dedicated themselves to fulfill a necessary and time consuming role for the team.

“We have stat books, and when there is a wrestling match going on, you go to the mat where you are assigned and you write down what the ref is putting up [scores],” Tompkins said.

The mat girls log the different moves used during a match such as take downs, reversals, escapes and pins. The girls later record the statistics.

“I have to take all the stats and put them in a computer so at the end of the season they can have all their stats,” Mckee said.

Statistics are very important to wrestlers, it shows them what they have accomplished throughout the season or how they can improve. Recording statistics is not all the mat girls do. They are also in charge of attending all of the boys’ matches, practices and their gear.

“We go to their practices, and we hand out gear and bags,” Sharp said.

Mckee said being a mat girl is fun, and she enjoys being with the boys.

“Being with the wrestlers, sometimes you never know what they are going to do and it’s really funny,” Mckee said.

Mckee, who has two brothers on the wrestling team, became involved in the program when head coach Travis Wittlake asked her if she was interested in helping. She agreed since she did not take part in a winter sport, and she wanted to stay connected with her school.

Tompkins became involved for similar reasons and also because she wanted to participate in an activity she thought she would enjoy.

“I wanted to be involved in some part of my school and also one of my friends was in it and it made it another reason for me to join,” Tompkins said.

This year’s team is the largest team the Pirates have had in the last few years, though they are very young with 15 freshmen, four sophomores and only eight juniors and seniors.

“They are working very hard,” Tompkins said.

Wittlake said he would like to see students and staff attend their next home match on Jan. 30 at Marshfield, where they will be competing against Coquille and Glide.