Thursday, February 17, 2011

School Boy Wrestler Foregos Match With Girl, Forfeits Title

High school athlete discovers the way to win this game is don't play. Just don't play that. Don't play the game. You just don't play that. No. You don't.

There is no prosthesis for a broken spirit. - Colonel Frank Slade, "Scent Of A Woman."

Des Moines – Joel Northrop entered the tournament 35-4. His prospects for walking away with a statewide wrestling title were good – very good.

Then the officials paired him with Cassy Herkelman in his first match. She is a freshman from Cedar Falls who, along with Ottumwa sophomore Megan Black, was one of the first two girls to ever qualify for the state meet.

Joel refused to compete against a female. Something about it, something about his religious training tells him it's just not right.

When he defaulted, the referee raised Miss Herkelman's hand to scattered boos and catcalls in the audience, and they whisked her away to the dressing room. Officials did not make her available for public comment.

Joel issued a statement to the press.

"I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy and Megan and their accomplishments. However, wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times," said Northrup. "As a matter of conscience and my faith I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner. It is unfortunate that I have been placed in a situation not seen in most other high school sports in Iowa."
His parents have home-schooled him and he has wrestled for the local high school as a walk-on competitor.

Miss Herkelman entered the tournament with a 20-13 record in the 112-pound weight class.




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