Davina Love Female Wrestler


As part of warm ups for practice, Love balances in a handstand.

Traditionally, wrestling at Blue Valley North has been a predominantly male sport. According to the BVN wrestling website, the team has produced 23 state champions since 1987, all of them male. This year, however, girls are getting involved in the sport. Senior Davina Love joined Blue Valley North wrestling at the beginning of the season as the only female athlete on the team.

This is a historic season for girls wrestling in Kansas: on Apr. 26, 2019, the Kansas State High School Activities Association voted to officially make girls wrestling a sanctioned sport. Female wrestlers now have the opportunity to win a State Championship. Love hopes that she will be the one to secure this accomplishment.

“I really want to be able to go to state and be [at the] first all girls state meet and win that title. That would be so cool,” Love said.

When Love first told her friends and family that she wanted to join wrestling, they weren’t sure how to react. In particular, her mother was concerned about her safety on the team. Love sees the humor in her participation, self assessing her height as around 5 feet 1 inch tall. Most of her teammates exceed her in weight and height, complicating her training.

“There [weren’t] a lot of other girls for a while while I was wrestling so I had to wrestle all the other dudes,” Love said. “They were really experienced and I would go in there and I’d be crying at the end of practice…But that was a big advantage because it made me grow faster.”

Love has made positive connections with other girls involved in the sport, including a freshman who competes with the Olathe district, where there are more female athletes involved in wrestling.
According to Love, there aren’t many female wrestlers in the district, which is beneficial because there is less competition.

However, it was a challenge at Blue Valley North because Love didn’t have female teammates to wrestle during practices. This issue was soon remedied by Freshman Carlyn Jones. She was first involved in wrestling this year, when she became manager of the team. In the middle of the season, however, she joined Love to begin competing in girls wrestling.

“I wanted to join because the team

…has a really fun atmosphere,” Jones said. “I also wanted to try something that I haven’t done before.”

Love and Jones both enjoy the camaraderie of the wrestling team. Jones mentioned that her favorite aspect of the sport is being on a team with her fellow athletes, who she enjoys spending time with. During their two hour practices, the team is able to bond through their training.

“At first its super intimidating because there’s all these big dudes…but then you get to know them,” Love said. “They’re actually kind of okay. They’re all in there suffering as much as you.”

Love’s goals for the rest of this season are simple: she wants to win every match. After multiple losses, victories in her two most recent matches have given her confidence.

“I felt like it clicked,” Love said. “All the other matches I’ve lost and something snapped. It made sense.”

Love and Jones both hope for victory in the coming months. You can watch them wrestle at their next meet on Tuesday, Jan. 28. Both girls will compete in several other meets, as well as regionals on Feb. 21 and 22. Then, on Feb. 27, 2020, the first girls wrestling state tournament will be held in Salina, Kansas. If they qualify, they will represent Blue Valley North in a historic competition and will have the chance to become the first female wrestling state champion in Kansas.