The FHC girls wrestling team prides itself on growing through physical and mental pain

The FHC girls wrestling team prides itself on growing through physical and mental pain

While most kids were getting ready to take a nap after a long day of school last winter, sophomore Ashley Schenck was getting beat up by her older sister, Sarah.

“To this day, I have yet to face a more daunting or challenging opponent,” Ashley said. “Even though she was lighter than me, her strength and experience challenged me and helped me advance. She was unrelenting, but like her sister, I refused to give in.”

Sarah, who earned all-state honors all three years she wrestled for FHC, was the perfect role model for a much-younger Ashley. Hearing about successful people is one thing, but being able to sit next to that person at dinner every night is another thing in itself. 

“I decided to join in eighth grade after seeing both of my sisters join and love it,” Ashley said. “Seeing my sisters having a great time and grinding every day helped inspire me to join.”

Like Ashley, another integral member of the girls wrestling team, senior Remmie Gavle, became attached to the sport after watching “pioneers” such as Rachel and Hannah Becker take command of the wrestling room with their curiosity and legendary courage.

“Hannah Becker and Rachel Schenck—along with all of the other pioneers of wrestling at FHC—definitely inspired me to join and continue wrestling,” Remmie said. Their strength and bravery have paved the way for all of the girls that have been and will be on the wrestling team, and they have truly shown us what it means to be a Ranger.

As Remmie began to devote her winters to wrestling, she started to see the effects of what some might view as “extreme” methods of training. Whether that training looked like hill sprints in ten-degree weather or grueling practices, the times that Remmie wanted to give up instilled mental fortitude in her that the average teenager does not possess. All of those sweaty and uncomfortable training sessions and practices didn’t just develop Remmie as a wrestler but also as a human being. 

“Since I joined wrestling my sophomore year, I have grown so much mentally,” Remmie said. “Through this sport, mental and physical toughness has been instilled so deeply in me to the point where they both translate into my daily life without me even realizing it.”

Although wrestling is deemed an exhausting sport, it’s much more than just that; it’s an inclusive, tight-knit community. Both Remmie and Ashley have learned to cherish the FHC wrestling community and build relationships with coaches who care more about developing them into strong women than what happens on the mat.

I owe all of my success in wrestling to the coaches in the room; every single day, they dedicate their time and effort to each and every wrestler on the mat,” Remmie said. “Coach Kacher, coach Anderson, and coach Big Dan have all improved not only my wrestling skills but also my ability to be a good person.”

For Ashley, the wrestling room next year will have a few unfamiliar faces. Ashley’s lone teammate this season, Remmie, will be at college next year, leaving a void in the room that will have to be filled by Ashley herself. Before Ashley returns next year, though, she has unfinished business at the state finals meet. Last season, the scrappy freshman placed eighth in a loaded class of wrestlers. Now, after a fourth-place finish at regionals last Sunday, Ashley is right back where she was at this time last year. Her state-finals push starts on March 4 and runs until the fifth.

“I felt so much relief when I punched my ticket to states last weekend because I really wanted to qualify for states since I placed eighth last year,” Ashley said. “I certainly didn’t want to do worse after another year of practice. I saw a great deal of skill at sectionals, and I feel very fortunate to return to states again next week.”