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A New Era Begins: Women's Wrestling at Lindsey Wilson College

By Maia Sapp, Staff Writer

Members of the inaugural women's wrestling squad pose for photographs for LWC Media Day. The team is on campus but will not compete in tournaments until next year. Photo courtesy of Lindsey Wilson College.

Women's wrestling is the newest addition to Lindsey Wilson College athletics, and although the team is not scheduled to compete in tournaments until next year, athletes in the sport have already been recruited and are currently training on campus.

The establishment of womens’ wrestling marks the 27th overall athletic program offered at LWC and the 12th women's program. LWC has hired Devane Dodgins as head coach.

Dodgins brings with him a wealth of experience, having graduated from Life University in Georgia. During his time there, he crossed paths with Jameel Bryant, the current head coach of LWC’s Mens’ Wrestling program, who served as an assistant coach at Life University when Dodgins was enrolled there.

The decision to introduce a women's team at LWC was driven by the sport’s surging popularity and competitiveness of women's wrestling nationwide. Dodgins believes there is a bright future for womens’ wrestling at LWC.

“A lot of colleges are jumping on it,” Dodgins said, “because more girls are wanting to wrestle at the next level.”

In this inaugural year of the women's wrestling program at LWC, the team comprises a dedicated group of 7-10 female athletes. While they won't compete in team tournaments in 2023, they have set their sights on individual tournaments that have the potential to propel them into the Olympic cycle.

Next year, the program is expected to expand significantly, with 25-30 female athletes expected to participate.

"We're expecting to be a powerhouse program very quickly."

“We’re expecting to be a powerhouse program very quickly here with the amount of recruiting we’re going to do,” Dodgins said.

Despite the official competition debut being set for next year, Dodgins said the women wrestlers already on campus are dedicated and diligently preparing for the journey ahead.

Alesandra Burgos posing for LWC Media Day.

Alesandra Burgos, along with teammate Sierra Hartfelder, said they both came to Lindsey Wilson College to follow their dreams of competing at the national level. Both student-athletes praise LWC for its warm and welcoming environment.

"It has been a truly welcoming experience for all the female wrestlers coming in," Burgos said.

Burgos invites women who might have an interest in wrestling to visit the team during practices at the Doris and Bob Holloway Wellness Center.

"Anybody who wants to come learn something new, even if it's their first time, we're willing to break things down little by little."

“Anybody who wants to come learn something new, even if it's their first time, we’re willing to break things down little by little,” Burgos said.

According to Dodgins, the women wrestlers at LWC are laying a strong foundation for the program's bright future.

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