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Go-Hawk girls eye another wrestling title

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WAVERLY (KWWL) -- Wrestling is a way of life in Waverly where the Go-Hawks had won five titles in the last 15 years.

Last January came number six but it didn't belong to the boys. Waverly-Shell Rock captured the team title at the first ever girls state tournament put on the state of Iowa's wrestling coaches association.

Long-time Go-Hawk assistant Josh Meier has been helping lead the girls squad along with head boys Coach Eric Whitcome. His daughter Avery last year became an individual state champ, a title she shares with her dad, which she says is pretty special.

"That's what he loves the most, and he's been a state champ in the past, too," she says, "so it's a pretty cool experience."

WSR's Avery Meier wins a state title in January 2019

Others like senior Olivia Sowle didn't have the same connection to the sport, but still decided to take the plunge for the first time this year."

"Most of my family doesn't even know I'm doing wrestling." Sowle says, "My two brothers didn't even know I was doing wrestling. I guess they're pretty excited to see me doing something that none of them have done themselves."

In all WSR will field one of the largest teams in the state, but the boom is happening everywhere. Last year's state tournament had more than 80 participants, and that number is expected to more than double this year.

"If you look at the number of girls that are registered, the number of schools that have girls out right now, it's exploding," says Coach Whitcome.

WSR prepares for another title hunt with bigger numbers this season.

For Avery Meier, who's set to compete for a second title in January, seeing that explosion continue is the ultimate goal.

"Anyone can try it. It's for all people. It's one on one, so I mean, it's pretty much a sport for everyone.

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Mark Woodley

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