Tournament over for wrestlers in boy-vs.-girl drama
Joel Northrup, left, and Cassy Herkelman leave the scorer's table Thursday.
February 18th, 2011
01:47 PM ET

Tournament over for wrestlers in boy-vs.-girl drama

The drama is over in the Iowa state high school wrestling tournament.

Cassy Herkelman, a freshman from Cedar Falls who advanced by default Thursday when a boy refused to wrestle her, lost twice Friday and was eliminated, CNN affiliate WHO-TV in Des Moines reports.

Joel Northrup of Linn-Mar, the boy who refused to wrestle any girl because of his religious convictions, won one match Friday in the consolation round but then lost and was eliminated.

A second girl, Megan Black of Ottumwa, lost Thursday and again Friday and also was eliminated.

There had been a chance that Northrup and Black would have faced each other if both had advanced through the consolation bracket.

Herkelman and Black were the first two girls ever to qualify for the state individual tournament. All three wrestlers are in the 112-pound weight class.

"I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy and Megan and their accomplishments," Northrup had said in a statement after his forfeit Thursday. "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 of the high school sports in Iowa."

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Filed under: Iowa • Religion • Sports
soundoff (82 Responses)

    i used to have a job as a profressional indian-leg wreslter... then i got laidoff...

    February 19, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |

    i miss GLOW.. Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling.. anyone else miss them?

    February 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy

    No, RUFFNUTT. You're the only one, lol!

    February 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |

    well i miss them.. also i miss the 20-minute work out.. that was a real stress releiver..

    February 19, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dave

    As a soldier, I think that while this young man's thoughts are noble enough he's short changing women. Some of the toughest fighters I know are women, and the Army doesn't make a policy of segregating combat training because we can be sure that our enemies aren't going to let women in uniform just waltz off because they don't want to fight a girl. If women want equality, they should have it in all ways.

    February 19, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |

      it's kinda like this.. if he beats the girl no big deal.. now if the girl beats him...oh man,, other kid will tease him.. he might have been scared that that girl might have took him down..

      February 19, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. cruise

    good for the boy. girls need to stay home and learn how to cook and sew and etc 😉

    February 19, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justina

      Exactly. Woman should obey man unless he is theologically wrong.

      February 20, 2011 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |

    i wanna wrestle a michigan cougar... 🙂

    February 19, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Justina

    Girls shouldn't wrestle with boys. Period.

    February 20, 2011 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |

      that would be gross.. a girl on her period wrestleing a boy.. i agree no way that should happen..

      February 20, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. kajakaja

    the kid is a gender bigot plain and simple. i pay women to wrestle with me, but that is another issue entirely.

    February 20, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Rachel Lopez

    Ok, so I was a wrestler in high school AND I am a very strong Christian.

    Fact#1 = When at the same weight class, there is very little strength difference between boys and girls, and strength is not the all important factor, knowledge and ability to perform take-downs and other moves is very important and equalizing as well.

    Fact #2 = I was honored to be on the boy's team and they all accepted me like a sister. There was never an issue of fairness/unfairness while I wrestled them. We went through the same practices, endured the same exercises (up-downs, mountain climbers, lunges, sprints ect...) over and over again. I earned my place and was respected for it.

    Fact #3 = When you are competing on the mat, there is no problem/thoughts to any kind of s-exuality. You wrestle, a sport, pure and simple. You are objective. I never experienced any un-comfortableness with the physical contact associated with the sport and those I wrestled never complained of feeling uncomfortable.

    Fact #4 = After two years of being thrown down and around on the mat I can put to ease fears that women will somehow lose their r-eproductive ability. Actually, men should fear that more, their r-eproductive o-rgans are outside; at least mine were cushioned in my belly ha ha!

    Fact #5 = I am very very very secure that wrestling never contradicted my religious beliefs. I am a very devout Christian and think God is proud of me for being his strong and confident daughter, who represented Him with honor in this sport.

    Fact #6 = When boys from Catholic schools refused to wrestle me (2 or 3 total over the course of 2 years) I respected their decision, but I strongly disagreed with it. Also, it did sting emotionally at times, because it felt like they were saying, although you have worked just as hard as us you’re not worth wrestling. Or there was a guise the idea that they “respect females too much” and so, decline. Truly, I think if they respected me, then they would’ve wrestled me.

    March 18, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • hedoladan

      What part of girls shouldn't wrestle boys don't you understand? It's a no-win situation for the boy. If he wins, big deal. If he loses, "you lost to a qirl." If you don't see the unfairness of that, there's no hope for you.

      May 29, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Scotty

      I don't agree with girls wrestling boys...schools should create a girls wrestling league...if not, then why should we even have girl's sports and boy's sports? If I'm not mistaken, in most high schools, girl's have volleyball and softball that the boy's are not allowed or even invited to participate in as was the case with my high what gives...I like volleyball and softball. Here's a thought, why don't we just get rid of the separation of girl's and boy's sports and just have open tryouts for all sports youth, ameteur and professional and let the coaches pick the best players based on their performance whether it be a girl or boy...see how that plays out in the long run...I would imagine that a lot of girls and their parents would complain that their daughter(s) aren't getting a fair shot to play the sport of their choice. And my opinion is not being made to intentionally offend you...I have no doubt that you were or are a good athlete...I just feel that there is a separation of girl's and boy's sports for a reason.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
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