Female wrestlers find close community within team, credit coach for great leadership

Head Coach Derek Norton brings team together, treats everyone as equals, says teammates

Sophia Lumsden sat hunched over, exhausted, next to the mat ready to throw up. That’s when her coach told her, “If you throw up,  I’ll clean it up, it’s fine, and you can get back on the mat.” For obvious reasons, the intensity of wrestling is not for everyone.

In recent years though, Shorewood wrestling has gotten to see a lot more diversity, with this year having the largest number of girls participating in the sport in Shorewood’s history.

Despite the often unpleasant aspects of conditioning, SW wrestling is a community just as close as any other. In fact, wrestling is the only sport that can boast a coaching staff composed of 100 percent alumni.

Junior Sophia Lumsden believes head coach Derek Norton really brought the team together.

“He’s super cool. He’s definitely a great leadership role in everyone’s lives on the team,” Sophia said. Freshman Cosette Lumsden raved similarly, saying one of the highlights of her season “was driving in the van to Snohomish with coach, and him telling us a bunch of gory cop stories.” Both of the Lumsden sisters have found one of the most valuable aspects of being on the team the treatment as equals. Despite the very obvious tendency for wrestlers to be male, Cosette said that they’ve been treated equally.

“The guys have treated us like any other person on the team, and I really appreciate that. Coach Norton especially, he wasn’t any softer on us than the guys,” she said.

Despite the welcoming community provided for them, the Shorewood wrestling team is still lacking in girl members. Luckily, Shorewood girls have been able to wrestle a large number of their matches at Edmonds-Woodway, which already has a well established girls wrestling program. Sophia said of the community there, “I really liked working with them this year because they have so much experience and such a big team.” While an established community and team of female wrestlers seems like a distant goal, Shorewood has made progress. Cosette being the first girl to ever wrestle (and also win) a varsity match for Shorewood.

“It was probably the proudest moment in my wrestling career,

by Junior Dimond

” Cosette remarked.

Even with the strides Shorewood wrestling has made, there is still demand for a larger girl’s team. Sophia said, ”I would like all the girls at Shorewood to know that wrestling doesn’t have to be super hard, or scary, or intimidating. It would be great if we could have a team next year. So come try it out, its great, you build so many relationships, and you meet girls all over Washington who love the same stuff. It’s a great community.”