LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Female high school athletes in Kentucky have a new sanctioned sport.

In February, we told you about Tates Creek High School’s Trinity Gottler, the wrestler who was breaking down barriers competing against the guys on the wrestling mat, and dominating.

Although Gottler’s time in high school comes to a close at the end of the 2022-2023 school year, female athletes across the state will be able to compete in girls-only wrestling starting in the 2023-2024 school year.

This comes as in late February, the Kentucky High School Athletics Association (KHSAA) officially sanctioned the sport.

So, what does sanctioning girls’ wrestling mean?

Well, girls who previously wanted to wrestle, can now compete against other girls, instead of just the boys. This also means girls who attend an all-girls school can now compete in a new sport.

It’s still up in the air as to whether or not girls can still compete against guys during wrestling matches, that decision will be made in the weeks to come.

But now elite female wrestlers, and any girl with an interest in wrestling, can compete for their own state championship like any other sport.

With the number of girls participating in wrestling skyrocketing in recent years, coaches say they’re excited to see their sport’s continued growth.

“I’m just very excited for girls wrestling and for wrestling as a whole in the state of Kentucky,” said Tates Creek High School Wrestling Coach Scotty Teater. “It’s going to grow our sport as a whole. And so that’s one of the biggest things. We love wrestling and we want it to grow, and we want these kids to get the experience.”

Teater said what makes the sport so unique is the fact that although you are still a part of a team, you are also an individual competitor. Athletes have the opportunity to learn what it means to be a part of something bigger than themselves, while also striving for self-excellence and the opportunity to earn a college scholarship.

But what wrestling teaches an athlete is what Teater feels is bigger than the technique on the mat. Things like time management, respect, discipline, and the importance of a balanced diet and eating right to name a few.


All things he feels every athlete needs to learn, regardless of gender.

“It just teaches you so much about being a good person and being a good adult,” Teater described. “Being a leader, being a father, mother, whatever. I just think that that is something that girls need as well as guys and we can teach. It’ll teach all those lessons to both. It’s just not something that guys need to experience.”

The next steps before the start of the season according to Teater include setting up the various regions across the state like in other sports for the state tournament, finding venues finding officials, and of course, getting athletes signed up to participate.