Horn gives wrestling team her all

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As junior Madi Horn walks into wrestling practice, she remembers to work hard and practice not just for herself, but for her team, for being the only girl on it is difficult. Horn knows that she needs to work harder than everyone else to help the team improve as a whole.

After joining in junior high, Horn decided to continue her wrestling career by joining the high school team during the winter. She does her best to look past the part where she is the only girl and works hard to wrestle just like everyone else on the team.

Contributing to something that matters

Horn’s dad suggested wrestling to her when she was in junior high because he wrestled in high school. She enjoyed the sport and decided to continue onto high school.

“My dad thought it would be a good idea because I was a pretty aggressive kid and he was a wrestler too, so I decided to try out for the team,” Horn said.

When it comes to how everyone else treats her, Horn tries to ignore the bad parts and look forward to the good.

“Sometimes a lot of the boys disregard me and sometimes pretend like I’m not part of the team, but I have learned to deal with it as best as I can. It’s not about them, it’s about me,” Horn said.

Although Horn feels a little left out sometimes, head coach Tim Hartung feels that having her around helps the boys to learn respect. He feels that with Horn being on the team, it teaches the other wrestlers, “how to treat a girl who’s in a situation where she’s the only one,” Hartung said.

“She helps our athletes to have more respect and continue to understand that they have to be cautious of what they say and how they say. It’s also a good opportunity for them to practice being appropriate and respectful around everybody,” Hartung added.

She helps our athletes to have more respect and continue to understand that they have to be cautious of what they say and how they say. It’s also a good opportunity for them to practice being appropriate and respectful around everybody.”

— Tim Hartung

With being the only girl on the team, Horn has brought some perspective to the team and her teammates. Having both genders on the team helps with acceptance and attitude.

“I think she brought a different perspective of what it’s like to be a part of the obviously predominantly male sport as a female,” assistant coach Rich Keller said.

Along with the attitude of the other members of the team, the coaches always make sure that Horn is feeling good about her situation and that everything and everyone makes her feel comfortable.

“It’s a strange sport from the stance of in our society today, but you know, as a coach the first thing that comes to mind is just making sure that everything stays appropriate with the nature of wrestling with grappling, grabbing, pushing, pulling and smashing people around you always worry. I worry more for her that she stays okay with the physicality of the sport but she does a great job,” Hartung added.

Wrestling is not just for boys

Even though Horn sometimes feels that she is at a disadvantage, she uses her strengths to take down her competition.

“A lot of the boys are super strong and have more muscle than I do, but I still do find a way to win matches, so technique is probably a strong suit for me,” Horn said.

Horn and her coaches feel strongly that wrestling is a sport that can be done by anybody. They want more girls to get out of their comfort zone and try the sport. Hartung and Keller both agree that it is possible for more girls to attempt wrestling in the future because it is growing throughout the country.

“They’re afraid to have to wrestle boys or it’s not their scene. Some girls think that it’s just an odd sport and they’re just not as aggressive,” Horn said.

“It’s a growing sport across the country and there’s plenty of other schools that have girls, but I think if it was accepted more and exposed more, there would be a girl’s wrestling team,” Keller added.

As Horn continues with her wrestling career both next season and outside of school, on an all girls tournament team called Minnesota Storm, she hopes to work hard and strong.

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