Inside Scoop on Wrestling: Featuring Caitlyn McGhee

by Yanelis Serrano

Wrestling is classified as mock combat and ‘display behavior’. Historically, males were more likely to participate in wrestling than females, while women were expected to participate in less aggressive activities.

Although wrestling as a sport has been around for centuries, it has yet to be restructured and modernized into a gender fluid sport.

“I started wrestling as the only girl on my team,” MHS senior Caitlyn McGhee states. ”That meant my opponents were most likely men in my weight class.”

Wrestling has formulated a permanent spot in McGhee’s life. She started out participating in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, a self defense martial art combat sport focused on grappling and ground fighting. “My whole life I’ve been into fighting sports,” McGhee said. “My dad always had an eye for kickboxing and jiu-jitsu, he got me into them at a young age.”

McGhee doesn’t just compete for Methuen High School’s wrestling team. She also travels out of state for Doughboy Wrestling in Lowell. This provides her chances of competing with girls as well.

“When I travel for Doughboy, I fight more girls than I would at Methuen High.” McGhee said. “Though boys are still mostly paired up with me, there are girls fighting and competing as well which gives me competition.”

Though McGhee would trade wrestling for Jiu-Jitsu, she admits she enjoys the distraction and the ability to enhance her defense mechanisms in a competitive format. Wrestling not only projects physical lessons, but mental practices as well.

“Wrestling has helped me manage my stress levels in ways that weren’t considered. Though I’ve always enjoyed self defense sportsmanship, I never thought it would help me maintain mental peace.”

Keeping stress outside of the mat is something McGhee learned with time. Adjusting to balance between school life and defense sports can be a challenge at first. With time, it allows the mind and body to sustainably relax in uncomfortable situations.

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