KINGSTON — It took just a few more girls to try out for the Kingston High School wrestling team to make history in Kitsap.
With at least seven females wrestling with the team this season, the program is the first in Kitsap County to be allowed to create a female team. Though the girls will still need to wrestle boys to meet WIAA tournament requirements, Kingston coach Bobby Reece said the new team will create more wrestling opportunities for female participants. The more successful teams in the state have girls teams, he said.
“It shows we’re on the right track,” Reece said.
With returners Lindsey Barnhill, Sonja Redbird and Ivy Rodolf, and new KHS wrestlers, including Reece’s daughter, Peyton, the team is taking shape. However, the team began with nine females; two have dropped out.
Compared to the rest of the state, Kitsap’s female wrestling program is growing much slower, Reece said. Despite not having had a female team, female wrestlers in Kitsap have not been without their success.
During the 2011-12 season, Lindsey Barnhill took eighth in the 112-pound 2A State bracket. It was her first year wrestling. Rodolf took third in the 118-pound division. North Kitsap’s Bella Livingston, also in the 118-pound division, took fifth.
Kingston graduate Kiana Witt was among the most successful females in the 2A division. She took the 112-pound 2A State title in 2009 and finished her high school wrestling career in second, after losing to Bremerton’s Lauren Richardson.