Moral Dilemma Causes Top Iowa High School Wrestler to Default, Won't Face Girl

As a supporter of equal opportunity, and one who has raised two girls through high school and college sports, it is disheartening to see situations arise in high school sports where this equal opportunity causes a moral dilemma for some.

Such is the case with an Iowa high school wrestler (Joel Northrup), one favored in his weight class, as he defaulted his first round match to Cedar Falls freshman Cassy Herkelman. She is one of two girls to qualify for the high school state series in Iowa (a first ever in a state where wrestling is highly respected and popular). That’s the story from the Associated Press in yesterday’s article, Iowa wrestler defaults rather than face girl, by Luke Meredith.

Joel’s reasoning for his refusal to compete:

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy…” and her accomplishment. “However, wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times.”

“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.”

I would venture to guess that general supporters of equal opportunity for all never saw young women and men competing in combative sports as a possible outcome. However, this is only a guess.

So what do you think, should high school girls be allowed to compete in wrestling against boys?

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Based on new, more accurate information regarding my inference to Title IX as a consequence of girls wrestling boys in my first edition of this post, I thought it best to remove any reference to the law. I apologize for the error I inadvertently made.

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