Challenging society’s standards

Female athlete defies stereotype by joining male dominant sport

Nicole Mata, Web Journalist

For the past two years, sophomore Piper Boulter has been the only girl on the wrestling team. She motivates herself to do her best and improve among the other wrestlers. Due to her current injury that occurred during practice, she may not be eligible to participate for the rest of the season.

It was within her freshman year that Piper’s passion began. She has been a practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Hapkido since she was 10 years old, which made transitioning into wrestling easy for her.

Piper’s older sister, Faith Boulter, has participated in similar sports such as wrestling, cheer, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Hapkido, and track. Faith has grown to be one of her sisters biggest influencers.

“My older sister, Faith, inspired me to join wrestling because I thought it was cool that she was strong enough to compete against multiple boys who wrestle,” said Piper.

Piper has also been cheering since fifth grade. She started with a local traveling team called Young Champions Cheerleading and continued cheerleading throughout most of middle school, up until this point.

Piper loves to cheer, but the conflict is that both of the sports are in the same season. This forced her to choose between the two. She would not have a flexible enough schedule to be able to dual sport and still manage to focus on school. However, since this injury appeared, Piper would not be eligible for cheer as well.

This winter, if her injury permits, she hopes to be a better competitor. Piper believes she will have more opportunities in wrestling in the future than she would in competitive cheer.

“You would think there would be problems with her being a girl, and I know a lot of head coaches have thought this, but there are not,” said Varsity wrestling coach Bruce Gumbert. “If someone wants to wrestle, they should be able to wrestle, and Piper fits in. I have no issues with her.”

Being a girl in a male dominant sport is challenging. When she first started there was many differences between Piper and her teammates but that did not bother her, she learned how to fit in with them.

“Being a part of the wrestling team has changed my life, as I’ve gained a whole team of brothers and two father figures that are amazing,” said Piper.

Piper hopes to return back to her passion. With this accident she needs to be more mentally strong than physically.