It is not often that you see a girl compete on a wrestling team full of boys, but Abby Burnside is an exception. In fact, she recently competed at the Indiana high school girls wrestling regional.
"In the past, no one has ever made it this far," said Castle Wrestling Coach Bob Harmon. "Most of them quit within the first few weeks, but she has been here the whole time. She has been here everyday, works hard in the weight room, pays attention and learns. She has picked it up really well."
"It is interesting seeing that kind of thing," said Castle Junior Abby Burnside. "You normally don't see girls do it. Anytime I say that I'm wrestling, other girls are like 'I couldn't do that' and I'm like, 'no you could, if you really want to and put your mind to it. It's not that hard.'
As it turns out, this is Burnside's first year ever of wrestling, and she's already learned a great deal.
"One of the things I improved on most is my endurance and being able to work out for two hours straight," said Burnside. "Seeing the other guys also pushes me to work harder."
Most of Burnside's matches are against male athletes, and she has a message for those who don't take girls on the mat seriously.
"I have to work as hard as possible to show them that this is not a throw away match," said Burnside. "This is actually a competition, you will not pin my immediately."
The Junior has seen other girls take up the sport and still hopes to see others hit the mats with the boys.
"I want there to be a girls team and everything," said Burnside. "To show the school and world that girls are not this dainty little things, we actually have power, we can work out, and we can do the things that guys do that people don't think we can."