BAKERSFIELD, Calif (KERO) — For many years there had always been interest in a women’s wrestling team at Bakersfield College, so when the school reached out to students to fill out an athletic interest form, and women’s wrestling was a popular choice, it was a no-brainer to create a team.
“It’s been a growing interest in it, so it’s finally all the cards are coming together to be able to put a team together, enough interest, enough participants to be able to form a team and compete with other colleges,” said Andrea Prise.
Andrea Prise met with Bakersfield College Athletic Director Reggie Bolton, and at the time Bolton was looking for a head coach so when Prise had expressed interest in coaching wrestling that is when Bolton asked…
“I was like well we are looking for a coach, are you interested, and she agreed and now she is our head coach,” said Bakersfield College Athletic Director Reggie Bolton.
As of right now there are currently six wrestlers on the team with a full team consisting of 10. Although short now, the current wrestlers see that number eventually growing.
“I think it’s going to head into a good direction, this area is pretty big in wrestling, like we hosted the state tournament here for many years, so I would imagine that a lot of girls like if there’s nowhere else to go they would come here,” said Bakersfield College wrestler Chloe Espericueta.
Coach Prise says as of right now there will be 8 other colleges that will have a women’s wrestling team, with some of those teams consisting of a full lineup, but that will not discourage them from competing.
“With us being our first year, and our actual first year as a women’s team we are starting off a little small, but it doesn’t mean that we are going to be less competitive than the rest of the schools,” said Prise.
A former high school wrestler, Coach Prise says when she wrestled in the late 2000’s women’s wrestling was fairly new and just in the beginning stages of becoming an Olympic sport, so for something like this to happen is a huge milestone.
“For it to be a solely women’s team with a greater range of weights that are more fitting for the women, it’s just a great opportunity, it’s just too exciting,” said Prise.