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Iowa wrestler forfeits because opponent was a girl

BigBob

Registered Member
An Iowa high school wrestler who was one of the favorites to win his weight class defaulted on his first-round state tournament match rather than face one of the first girls to ever qualify for the event.

Joel Northup, a home-schooled sophomore who was 35-4 wrestling for Linn-Mar High this season, said in a statement that he doesn't feel it would be right for him to wrestle Cedar Falls freshman Cassy Herkelman. Herkelman, who was 20-13 entering the tournament, and fellow 112-pounder Ottumwa sophomore Megan Black, who was 25-13, made history by being the first girls to qualify for the state tournament. Black was pinned quickly in her opening round match.

"I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy and Megan and their accomplishments. However, wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times," wrote Northup. "As a matter of conscience and my faith I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner. It is unfortunate that I have been placed in a situation not seen in most other high school sports in Iowa."

There were several thousand fans on hand Thursday at Wells Fargo Arena, but many were watching other matches when the referee raised Herkelman's hand to signal her win. There was a smattering of cheers and boos from the crowd before Herkelman and Northup were whisked into the bowels of the arena.

Tournament organizers declined to make Herkelman available for questions. Her next match is Friday.
Hopefully rumors start to come out saying he was afraid he would get pinned by a girl and that's why he forfeited, but it won't. I think it was stupid for him to not wrestle. If I was the favorite to win a championship, I'd go through grandma to get it. Maybe not that harsh.

Thoughts?
 

Babe_Ruth

Sultan of Swat
Staff member
V.I.P.
With his record, and him being the favorite to win the Championship, I doubt he was afraid to lose to a girl. I think he was being honest when he stated that he doesn't feel right going against a girl.

I honestly don't know what I would do if I was put in his situation. I pretty much have the same beliefs when it comes to wrestling.
 

BigBob

Registered Member
With his record, and him being the favorite to win the Championship, I doubt he was afraid to lose to a girl. I think he was being honest when he stated that he doesn't feel right going against a girl.

I honestly don't know what I would do if I was put in his situation. I pretty much have the same beliefs when it comes to wrestling.
Well I believe that belief is stupid. This is just like if a girl was playing football. I'm not going to not hit her because she's a girl. If she's going to suit up, then you treat her like any other competitor.
 

Wade8813

Registered Member
Hopefully rumors start to come out saying he was afraid he would get pinned by a girl and that's why he forfeited, but it won't. I think it was stupid for him to not wrestle. If I was the favorite to win a championship, I'd go through grandma to get it. Maybe not that harsh.

Thoughts?
Well I believe that belief is stupid. This is just like if a girl was playing football. I'm not going to not hit her because she's a girl. If she's going to suit up, then you treat her like any other competitor.
You're too harsh on the guy. Just because you don't agree with him, doesn't mean you should insist he can't have his own opinion.

I've played male/female football before, and it was obvious that all the guys didn't hit the women as hard.

Sure, maybe he's scared, but it's more likely that he's one of many guys that refuses to hit women under any context. Besides, in wrestling you get much more physical than just hitting them.

This guy had the courage to do what he felt was right, even though it meant forfeiting a match in a state tournament.
 

Dabs

Registered Member
I saw this on the news too. And it's a good thing to mention, some guys say it's harder to "grab" a girl when wrestling her, especially above the waist. They might be afraid they will grab her boobage and the awkwardness that follows might cause a stir. Kudos to the girl for being able to hold her own and get as far as she is. But also kudos to the guy for being a gent the way he is, and standing firm in his beliefs and now, the best he can hope for, is 3rd place.
 

BigBob

Registered Member
You're too harsh on the guy. Just because you don't agree with him, doesn't mean you should insist he can't have his own opinion.
I never said he couldn't have his own opinions. Sports are sports. If girls are going to go up against the guys, then they already know what's going to happen. I'm pretty sure she lost to a couple of guys with her 20-13 record so it wouldn't have been any different if he would've lost or beat her.
 
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Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
I don't think he was afraid of losing to her. He should have just competed though. Competitors have no gender.
 
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