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Membership runs from Sept. 1, 2017 to Aug. 31, 2018

Opportunities for Girls Wrestlers in Idaho

A few years ago I was stopped at a red light when my daughter asked me who was going to take Casey’s place since he would no longer be going to J Robinson’s Wrestling Camp with me. Casey and Noley, my oldest and middle child, had been in tow to this particular camp for years as part of my compensation for working the camp.

“I suppose some other kid. Probably a Coeur d'Alene kid” I offered without much thought.

“I want to go,” she said in that tone that she sometimes uses when all negotiations have been removed from the table.

I looked at her. She was eleven years old at the time and she sat with her arms crossed and jaw set. I laughed and reminded her of the glaringly obvious, “You don’t wrestle. You’ve never wrestled. You have never even participated in a wrestling practice.”

“I am going to that camp with you and Noley,” she declared, shifting in her seat so that she was turned towards me, forcing me to take the full brunt of her narrowing eyes and now tilted head.

I returned my gaze to the slowly moving traffic, offering her occasional glances to see, maybe hoping, that a smile, a “gotcha” would spread across her stern face.

“Dad, I am going. I am taking Casey’s place and I am going with you and Noley to J Robinson’s camp,” her tone had shifted from suggestion to request to done-deal. “I am going.”

Admittedly, I was feeling a bit panicky. Here’s the thing, when you look at Alyssa, you likely see the same traits you see in any young teen girl: a girl who scrolls through social media, who laughs loudly, who cries at unkind words, who tells you to “Turn that up!” when a certain song comes on the radio. Me? I am a dad so I see a five year old with soft blond curls. I see a little girl who does cartwheels down store aisles and flings princess dresses from a treasure box of dresses, looking for the right one, “The ‘puple one’ that go with my princess shoes.” I see the little girl who climbed on my lap when she got scared or tired.

Cautiously, tip-toeing around anything that might be regarded as sexist, or some unintended double standard, I worked to bring her back to the negotiation table, “Lissy, don’t you think that kids that go to wrestling camp should have at least wrestled before?”

“Oh, I’m wrestling Dad. Canfield let’s sixth graders wrestle so I am wrestling. And I am going to that camp, too,” she was now looking out the window, already seeing herself at wrestling camp, I suppose.

We had recently moved from Sandpoint, where 6th graders did not attend middle school, to Coeur d’Alene where not only did 6th graders attend middle school but evidently could join the middle school wrestling team. Damnit.

I looked at her again, seeing her the way I see her; her blonde curls dancing in the wind, her silly laugh that rose with the carefree ease of blown bubbles. I saw her dancing across the living room floor to Taylor Swift.

As much as I love wrestling and as much as it has been a part of my family’s life, I simply could not see my little girl throwing down on a wrestling mat.

“You know it’s a pretty tough sport. Sweaty. It even has blood time…Just sayin’.” I am a terrible person.

“Helen Maroulis wrestles. Adeline Gray wrestles,” she came back swinging.

Damn you Helen Maroulis and Adeline Gray.

“Ok, here’s the deal. I will take you to camp. If and only if you finish the middle school season,” I felt this was a safe bet. Maybe, well probably, I decided, she simply didn’t know what she was getting in to.

A few months later, my wife and I visit the middle school wrestling room, where we hoped to hear the good news of her dismay with the sport. Her coach, one of my former wrestlers, however, was not delicate in sharing the bad news, “Oh, she loves it. As a matter of fact, she’s so athletic she’ll win some matches.”

My wife took a deep breath and raised her eyebrows as if to say that Coach Hook had failed to support Project Make Alyssa Hate Wrestling. “That wasn’t the plan,” she reminded Coach.

He shrugged his shoulders and started laughing, “What do you want me to do? She’s doing great.”

Fast forward a few years later to last week, a few months after she finished 3rd in districts (Yes, competing against boys) and I am sitting at a safe distance from the mat (sometimes I just want to enjoy cheering and not always coaching) watching Alyssa surrounded by a group of girls like her: courageous in the trails they’ve been willing to blaze; strong and independent in their willingness to step into that circle; and, well, silly.
Idaho’s first all-girl team competed against teams from surrounding states, including those that took girls’ wrestling serious a long time ago, like Hawaii and Washington. Collectively, those girls can flat out wrestle and compete with the same tenacity and heart as you’ll find in any boys’ tournament. Importantly, though, the comparisons are neither relevant nor necessary.

What is relevant and what is necessary, though, is that we no longer go about the business of thoughtlessly staking out some position regarding who should and who should not wrestle. Ironic, isn’t it, that we value so many of the lessons that wrestling conveys (hard work, discipline, and accountability) but somehow arrived at the conclusion that these qualities should be reserved for boys only. Yeah, I get that these lessons can be learned elsewhere but can they really be learned the way wrestling teaches them? Look, would we reserve the best teachers for boys only? Wrestling is the best teacher that most of us will ever have. Doesn’t it just make sense that we encourage our daughters to take that class with the best teacher?

After the Girls’ Turf Wars Tournament concluded last week, Alyssa sat in the passenger seat, recounting everything from practices to matches to dorm room shenanigans to the homemade pickles one of the coaches brought for them. She spoke excitedly, her words tumbling like children over the top of each other. And finally she grew tired. Hours later, the sky grew dark and under the flickering moonlight that cut through the darkness and stole into the car, I glanced to my little girl. I saw past the mat burns and the bruise that stretched across her right temple and I saw the soft blond curls, I saw the purple-dressed princess dancing to Taylor Swift. Some things, I suppose, are not subject to change.

Then her voice, still thick with sleep, rose softly, “Dad, how old do you have to be to go to Fargo?”

“A cadet or junior,” I spoke softly, thinking that maybe she was talking in her sleep.

“Dad,” her voice even softer now, “What am I?”

“You are a second year schoolgirl.”

“Dad, I am going to Fargo next year. I am.”

(PS, A big thanks to Angela Foster, Cierra Foster, Chris Owens, JB Plato, Koral Sugiyama and all the parents who worked to make sure these girls are afforded the opportunities that should never be denied to anyone)

Authored by Mike Randles (long time Head Coach & Educator @ Sandpoint High School & current Administrator @ CDA High School)

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    IDUSAW National Team Summer Schedule 2018

    Many of you have been anxious to see our National Team Training Schedule & we are excited to get it out to everyone! There is no additional cost for Schoolboy Dual Camps and Cadet Dual Camps unless you are not attending the event & wish to attend camps (training spots may be granted to create better training for our team but not guaranteed).


    Schoolboy Duals Team Training

    May 19

    Location:  DTA

    2 training sessions

    No housing or meals provided

    Chris Owens


    Schoolboy Duals Team Training/Greco Camp

    May 25-26

    Location: Suples

    3 training sessions (session times will be emailed to those reserving spots)

    -No housing or meals provided unless arranged

    Chris Owens


    Schoolboy & Cadet Duals Team Training Camp

    June 1- 2 

    Location: Suples Wrestling Club

    3 training sessions

    Chris Owens


    Schoolboy Duals Team Travel

    June 5-10

    Warren Central High School 9500 East 16th Street, Indianapolis IN


    Cadet Duals Team Training Camp

    June 9-10-11-12

    Location: Post Falls High School

    Camp Itinerary

    June 9

    1:00pm to 4:00pm Team check-in Post Falls Wrestling Room

    • Wrestlers must arrange their own transportation to Post Falls

    4:00pm Team Workout

    June 10 & 11 Team Training

    June 12 Team Training (morning)

    • 5:00-6:00 pm weigh-in

    June 13 Competition Begins 9:00am Greco/Freestyle

    June 16 wrestling is done at 3pm depart after

    • we will need help from parents to get everyone home
    • Home Housing will be provided during camp by Post Falls Wrestling & Team Real Life

    Cadet Duals June 12-16


    Spokane Convention Center

    334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.

    Spokane, WA 99201

    East Idaho Training Camp in Rexburg (Western States Prep Camp)

    June 7-9

    Location: Madison Middle School

    Kids thru Juniors

    Chris Owens

    Women’s National Team Camp Pocatello, ID.

    June 12-13-14

    ISU Housing/Training Camp @ Pocatello HS

    Chris Owens

    Turf Wars Duals Pocatello, ID. (Elementary, MS & High School Duals)

    June 15-16

    Turf Wars Individual Tourney

    June 17-20

    Location: Holt Arena

    Chris Owens

    June 25-July 1

    Fargo Camp (Boys)

     The College of Idaho (Caldwell)

    Chris Owens

    Pre-Fargo Camp (Boys)

    July 9 &10  

    Location: Kuna High School

    Chris Owens

    Fargo Travel Boys

    July 11 Depart Boise (Bus)

    July 19 (bus returns)

    July 20 (van returns)

    Pre-Fargo Camp (Girls)

    July 8-9-10

    Location: Columbia High School

    Fargo Travel Girls

    July 11 Depart Boise (Bus)

    July 19 (bus returns)

    -please communicate with me if you would like to attend any of these events or camps. The quality of our training depends on space and partners!

    Thanks & GO Team Idaho!

    Chris Owens

    IDUSAW Developmental Director & National Teams Coordinator


    Directors and contact information 

    Pat Owens

    Junior Director


    Jon Watson

    Cadet Director


    Aaron Peterson

    Kids Director


    Annie Foster

    State Women’s Director


    Pete Reardon

    State Coaches Director


    Zarrick Wadsworth

    Regional Coaches Director (EIWA)


    TC Miller

    Regional Coaches Director (WIWA)




    Do Freestyle & Greco make you a better Folkstyle wrestler? 02/07/2014, 8:00am CST By Mike Juby

    You love folkstyle wrestling, and your goal is to be the very best folkstyle wrestler you can be. Should you spend time learning freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling? See the following video for some insight into what some of our best folkstyle wrestlers and coaches have to say.

    Cadet & Junior Nationals Team 2017

    Cadet & Junior Nationals Team 2017

    Idaho Hall of Fame Classic 2015