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  • Val T.

IHSAA recognizes girls wrestling, boys volleyball


Sports Editor, RTC

The IHSAA Board of Directors voted at its annual meeting Monday to fully recognize girls wrestling and boys volleyball beginning in the 2024-25 school year, according to a news release Monday.

By fully recognizing those sports, an IHSAA state tournament will be established for both sports. The IHSAA had recognized both as “emerging” sports in 2022 and cited “significant” growth as reasons for full recognition.

The IHSAA reports more than 1,400 individual girls wrestlers representing 177 different schools. They also report more than 100 schools with boys volleyball teams.

They are the first new sports that the IHSAA has fully recognized since Unified Track in 2018 and Unified Flag Football in 2013.

Girls wrestling will be held during the winter. Boys volleyball will be played during the spring.

No RTC area schools have boys volleyball, whose coaches association had administered a state tournament since 1994.

However, girls wrestling has blossomed in the RTC area under the auspices of Indiana High School Girls Wrestling, an organization that had held a state tournament since 2017.

Rochester hosted a girls wrestling semistate at the RHS gym on Jan. 5, and three Rochester wrestlers – Grace Hiroms, Laine Peppler and Makenna McKee – qualified for the state finals that were held at Kokomo High School the following week.

Hiroms, who made the state tournament all four years of her prep career, finished third at 155 pounds. Peppler was fifth at 145.

Other Rochester wrestlers who advanced to the semistate round included Rilyn Strasser, Kyra Doran, Amber Blackburn, Lakodah Clevenger and Lexi Haughs.

Other area wrestlers who advanced to the semistate round included Caston’s Livian Wilburn and Culver’s Eriahna Vela.

Rochester also hosts a girls invitational in November. The Rochester girls team also had its first ever dual match when it traveled to John Glenn on Dec. 13.

In other news from the Board of Directors meeting:

  • The Board tabled a proposal until its June meeting that would have added girls lacrosse as an emerging sport.

  • The Board rejected a proposal to change the number of points accumulated for a school already playing in a higher class to stay in that class. The proposal from Yorktown principal Stacey Brewer was to increase the threshold from three to four points. The Board voted 17-1 to reject Brewer’s proposal and keep the threshold at three points (one sectional and one regional championship). Brewer’s proposal came in light of the IHSAA changing its volleyball, girls basketball, boys basketball and baseball state tournament formats to a one-game regional and a two-game semistate.

  • The Board voted 18-0 to add an additional moratorium week to be determined by each member school. That is in addition to the moratorium that each member school observes the first week of July.

  • The Board voted 18-0 to approve a proposal that requires the principals at both schools in transfer cases to “consult one another and provide written verification that there are no athletic motivations” for the transfer.

  • The Board voted 18-0 to reject a proposal that would assert beach volleyball as a distinct sport from indoor volleyball and would allow athletes to play both during the same high school volleyball season. The IHSAA reports that 24.7% of members supported this proposal in a straw poll vote.

The IHSAA is expected to release new sectional alignments for the six-class sport of football, the four-class sports of volleyball, girls basketball, boys basketball and the three-class sports of girls soccer and boys soccer later today.

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