116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Cedar Rapids Prairie has long proven itself a high school wrestling force.
Now, the girls of College Community are showcasing their abilities on the mats.
Freshman Mackenzie Childers is the first female wrestler at Prairie. Childers found her passion in second grade and has not wanted to stop since.
“I think it’s challenging,” Childers said, “but I like the challenge.”
Senior Anna Lantz joined Childers on the mat this season. Lantz was the first female football player at Prairie and now is the second female wrestler.
Although it is her first year wrestling, she felt prepared from wrestling Childers, noting she is “the hardest person I have ever wrestled.”
Lantz believes Prairie’s current mixed-gender wrestling program has a very positive culture that teaches everyone to learn to respect other opponents, no matter the gender.
She hopes the state will sanction girls’ wrestling to give those who participate and work hard the recognition they deserve.
Prairie’s head wrestling coach Derick Ball anticipates that success at this weekend’s state tournament will be a springboard into a solid girls’ wrestling program at Prairie.
He said the culture of wrestling at Prairie is outstanding.
“We have great camaraderie on our team,” he said.
Childers intends to place top three at state and Ball, too, expects a medal from Prairie’s first female wrestler. He predicts she will someday win a state title.
Childers is working on the mental aspect of the sport.
“You can know all the moves and still get in your head,” she said.
The girls at Prairie are ready to make a name for themselves, starting at the state tournament this weekend in Coralville.