Girls wrestling will now be recognized as a varsity LHSAA sport in 2024-25.
It was official Thursday at the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) convention in Baton Rouge.
The high school principals voted 96-1 to approve girls wrestling as an LHSAA varsity sport in 2024-25. The girls will have their own division separate from the boys division. Previously, girls could join high school wrestling teams across the state and compete against boys in their weight class.
Before today’s vote, the only way girls would typically wrestle against other girls was in junior varsity-level competition, which doesn’t get the same recognition as varsity.
“It is a pretty big day for girls wrestling in the state,” said Brusly Wrestling Coach Jimmy Bible. “They’ll have their own championship and all that other kind of stuff. There are more opportunities in college for girls to wrestle, get an education, and do things like that. Some of those girls want those opportunities. We had to go through a process to get girls wrestling recognized here in Louisiana. It took longer than we wanted it to, but they got it done. And the main thing about it, all these girls in the future are going to benefit from what these girls have done right now.”
Bible said Brusly has five girls on its wrestling team. He said it’s a bittersweet moment for one of his wrestlers, Sara Daley, who he said has been a trailblazer for prep girls wrestling.
“Unfortunately, Sara’s not gonna be recognized as a ‘state champion.’ She’s paved the way and made a lot of people move to where we can get this girls division going.”
Bible said girls wrestling was around in the ‘90s before its popularity faded. It’s back on the upswing. He said there are over 30 schools in the state that have at least one girl on the wrestling team.
“It’s growing, and now that it makes them their own division, it just paves the way for the next group of girls to come in and take advantage,” Bible said. “It’s a good day.”