WHB’s Only Female Wrestler


Rosie Babcock and Priscilla Calise

Sophomore Juliet Barnabee is the only female wrestler in WHB High School. She talks about what it’s like to be a female wrestler and the challenges it brings.
Juliet started wrestling in 5th and 6th grade. Unfortunately, she will not be able to wrestle this year due to back injuries, but plans to return as soon as she is better.
Female wrestling has been on the rise. Over 15,000 girls compete for their school nationwide. The majority of girls who want to wrestle have no other choice but to compete against the boys on their high school or middle school teams.
Juliet started wrestling because of her brothers. “My younger brothers started wrestling at WYW [Westhampton Youth Wrestling] so I would go to sit and watch, but I had always played sports so I decided to try a practice,” she recalled. “I felt stupid during the first one but I still went back and kept practicing.”
Being a successful female wrestler has nothing to do with muscle size and everything to do with years of intense focus on technique. Juliet feels that there are not many disadvantages to being the only girl on the team. “The only disadvantage would be strength but there are always ways to overcome it,” she says. “Not all moves require muscle, some muscles, some are more speed or flexibility.”
Although that might be the case, the only other disadvantage Juliet would have is boys forfeiting. In middle school, Juliet would have many boys forfeit because they didn’t want to wrestle a girl.
Her teammates were always accepting towards Juliet and never treated her any differently. One of Juliet’s former teammates, wrestler Sal Fracapane said, “It’s a little different than what it’s normally like. But it’s cool, no one really treats her differently than anyone else on the team.”
Even though Juliet may be the only girl on the team, she still continues to do what she loves.