Behind the Ink: Historic Wins, Women Rising
The month prior to the Championship, the young women completed two 3-day camps to come together as a team refine their techniques and hone their skills. Right before they headed off, Paige Folkner (one of the historic team’s wrestlers) was tagged on a Conscious Ink page celebrating how far they had come as a team.
Inspired by their strength and devotion, we decided to interview them to highlight their success.
Why do you love wrestling?
Paige: Because it teaches me life lessons, and how to overcome struggles.
How does it make you feel to have come this far?
Paige: Proud, strong, happy, empowered. Plus the feeling of having you hand raised [when you win] is just, well - victorious!
What do they want other girls/women to know about this sport?
Paige: It’s not just a male sport. It changes your life! That’s hard to explain, I just know wrestling makes you a better, stronger (mentally and physically) person.
Paige also mentioned that for those women strong and brave enough to become wrestlers, that there is a lot of opportunity for scholarships.
Paige’s grandmother, Pamela Bredenkamp, bought her the Conscious Ink tattoo that she is wearing in her picture. I asked for her perspective on the tattoo she chose and her granddaughter’s team’s inspiring journey.
Why did the SHE BELIEVED tattoo resonate with you?
Pamela: I chose this tattoo because it was empowering, female specific, and appropriate for the challenge(s) [Paige] faced. (Plus it was just cool!) This past school year, [Paige] wrestled on the McCluer North High School team as the only (and we believe first ever) female wrestler. As a Freshman, she had to earn her place on the team. She not only earned her place as a Freshman, she was awarded MVP for the Junior Varsity team as she had the most wins overall.
If you could tell the world one thing, what would that be?
Pamela: Do not downgrade your dream to fit your reality.
One of the team’s coaches, Scott Cutbirth said when asked about the experience, “I was blessed to be a small part of these amazing girls journey that included matching the State’s 15 year combined program history of 9 All Americans.”
These young women, their devotion, strength, and teamwork inspire as do the people who support them. As a community, we wish them every success as they charge on with their passion and discipline.
So can you.