When you think of wrestling, the thought of a team of girls may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, if you were to talk to the Girls Wrestling Team at Basha HS, they would beg to differ.
During the time of a pandemic, even having a wrestling season was in doubt, yet the Basha Girls Wrestling Team went full-steam ahead hoping that they indeed would be able to show what they could do on the mats for the 2020-21 AIA Girls Wrestling Season.
While other teams across the state of Arizona struggled to get enough girls to field a team, the Basha Girls Wrestling team went into the season with nearly twenty wrestlers, dwarfing most other wrestling programs.
Once the Girls Wrestling Championships came around, Basha Head Coach Michael Garcia had his team ready. He had not only high numbers on his team but also quality as well: 14 Basha wrestlers went to the state championships. This meant that out of 14 weight divisions, he had a wrestler ready to compete and gain points for his team at every weight category! In comparison, the next top programs could not place a girl at every weight division: Westwood sent 10, Centennial 8, with Casteel, Liberty and Willow Canyon respectively with 7. In a sport where numbers mean everything, head coach Garcia had his team primed and ready to make a run at history.
Once the AIA Girls State Championships got underway, it became very clear early on that the Basha Lady Bears Wrestling team had come to take home the title. From the beginning until the end, the Basha Lady Bears led the competition.
As a team, Coach Garcia’s wrestlers tallied a total of 191 points, defeating the rest of the competition by a wide margin. The Bears did this by taking medals in 9 of the 14 divisions, including three individual state titles. The next closest competition was nearly 100 points behind: Liberty and small school Winslow HS tied at 2nd place with 108 pts. Closely behind them were Casteel HS with 107.5 points and Westwood HS with 107 pts.
Basha was led by three state champions:
120: Trinity Howard 14-2, defeated Aysha General from Buena HS by Fall at 3:37
145: Amber Rodriquez 13-1, defeated Sara Schmoker from Liberty HS by an 11-4 decision.
170: Trinity Bouchal, 10-1, defeated Lyanla Thomas from Westwood HS by a major decision score of 13-4.
Every single Basha High School Wrestler has taken a course or two learning about history, yet I am sure that hardly any of them could have known that their young lives as athletes would become a part of history by winning the first-ever AIA Girls State Wrestling Championship! While some of the team didn’t qualify or score points, every one of the girls on the 2021 team played a HUGE role in accomplishing this feat.