Evanston’s Jereni Marshall wins her match Credit: Michael Kellams/thatphotodad.com

The Evanston Township High School girls wrestling team celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in schools.

Co-captains Priscilla Hartwell and Ariana Flores read a message at the start of their meet at the high school’s Willy May Fieldhouse. The legislation “positively changed the lives of tens of thousands of young women,” said Flores.

Yet, on the mat Saturday, Dec. 17, it turned out to be a tough day for the team.

Evanston’s Kyra Rivera wins her match. Credit: Michael Kellams/thatphotodad.com

The Wildkits came into their match with a 5-0 record with victories against Lane Tech, Niles West, New Trier, Glenbrook South and Hope Academy. But Evanston lost three matches: 24-66 against Lockport, 15-57 against Minooka and 30-42 against Hoffman Estates.

“We didn’t wrestle up to our ability,” said coach Dillin Randolph. “We were dealing with a lot of adversity,” he said, including injuries, sickness and outside commitments.

This is the second year of the 17-member girls’ team. Competition has been getting more fierce since the Illinois High School Association held its first state championship early this year.

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“The whole state is getting better,” Randolph said. “A lot more girls are wrestling. There are more resources to build the talent pool. The sport is growing.”

Fielding a girls team is essential, he said. “It provides a legitimate opportunity for young women and gives them another avenue to participate,” said Randolph. “Wrestling reflects life.”

Richard Cahan

Richard Cahan takes photos for the Evanston RoundTable. He also is publisher of CityFiles Press, a small but mighty media company that believes in the power of words and pictures. You can reach him at...

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