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Religious Reasons Or Just Not Wanting To Get Beat By A Girl...You Decide

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This was from the Des Moines Register in preparation for our Iowa state wrestling tournament. Two girls qualified this year for the first time ever. One may not have an opponent tonight when the 3-A (largest high schools) take to the mat tonight.


State wrestling: Girl's opponent might forfeit first-round match

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"Cassy Herkelman of Cedar Falls may become the first female to win a match at Iowa’s storied state wrestling tournament Thursday, though in unexpected fashion.

Her opponent, Joel Northrup of Linn-Mar of Marion, is considering a forfeit, according to a top school official.

Linn-Mar superintendent Katie Mulholland said she was told during a meeting of the school’s athletic council on Monday — a day after the state pairings were finalized — that Northrup might be unwilling to compete against a girl.

“I have not been informed officially what’s going to happen, but I do know that with his family’s faith beliefs, this presents a very challenging dilemma to them,” Mulholland said.

Mulholland said the school would not penalize Northrup if he chooses not compete, and the school has not taken a position on the matter.

“The family and Joel will be making the final decision,” she said.

Calls placed Wednesday to the Northrups and Linn-Mar wrestling coach Doug Streicher were not immediately returned.

Northrup and Herkelman were scheduled to meet in a dual Jan. 13, but Northrup did not participate. Rather than forfeit, Linn-Mar wrestled 103-pounder Alijah Jeffery against Herkelman, according to the National Wrestling Coaches Association database. Jeffery subsequently pinned her.

Herkelman’s father, Bill, said he’d heard rumblings that a state forfeit could be brewing.
“We’ve just heard that it may be 50-50,” said Bill Herkelman. “My understanding is that they’ve got strict convictions (as a family), and I respect them. I don’t have any ill will toward them and I don’t think it’s any kind of boycott about her being a girl.”

The possibility of the forfeit was first reported by Cedar Rapids’ Metro Sports Report.
Alan Beste of the Iowa High School Athletic Association said that Northrup, who is 35-4 and ranked fifth at 112 pounds in Class 3-A, must report to the scorer’s table when called if he wants to continue to compete in the consolation round.

If Northrup does not report, he will be eliminated from the meet. Though Linn-Mar qualified eight for state, it’s not a favorite for the team title in 3-A.

Herkelman owns a 20-13 record and, along with Megan Black of Ottumwa, made history as the first two females to qualify for the traditional state wrestling meet. Black (25-13) is slated to meet Bettendorf’s Logan Ryan (26-7) — also in at 112 pounds in Class 3-A.

Another interesting subplot could develop: If Northrup forfeits and competes in the consolation rounds, it’s possible he could face Black or Herkelman later in the tournament.

The Register’s Sean Keeler contributed to this article."

I don't mock people's religious convictions, but for some reason I have to wonder if that's the real reason here. They don't mention at all exactly what their beliefs or faith say about competing against females. I know it's especially different in wrestling with the close one-on-one nature of the sport. The girl's dad clearly took the high road here, he gets my props.

Ultimately, I end up leaning towards he doesn't want to get beat by a girl or compete against them. At least he should say that, although I know he'd get mocked and ridiculed for that I'm sure also.
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