RHS Continues Making History

Rosa Gonzalez, Staff Writer

I’m proud to present to you, drum roll, please… Renton High’s first Girls’ Wrestling Team!! On November 5, 2019, Renton High’s Instagram page (@rentonspiritsquad) made an announcement to inform the student body that, they were looking for girls interested in making history. Ever since the school’s opening in 1911, there has never been a girls’ wrestling team. 

In my experience throughout High School, I knew of a girl that enjoyed wrestling. She showed off the boys’ wrestling team on her social media. Her name is, Melissa Hokunani Hiu. She is now a RHS Alumni, Class of 2019. When interviewed, she expressed  why she was so passionate about the sport, Hiu said that it all started Sophomore year, “One of my Junior friends was in wrestling, so he told me about it, and about becoming manager for the team, and I said why not.” Throughout the interview, she stated that as time passed, she noticed that the sport was quite interesting to watch. Leading to the point that she enjoyed being around the sport. Eventually, Hiu wanted to try out wrestling for her self, doing so, she hoped to gain more knowledge about the sport on a personal level. I couldn’t help, but to ask, if throughout her High School years, did she ever try to start a girls’ wrestling team. She said, “No, because I didn’t think that any of the girls would like to try out for wrestling”. Hiu also stated that she regrets not recruiting. To end Hiu’s interview, I asked what her thoughts were about RHS having their first girls’ wrestling team, “I really hope these girls make it far in the season and really stick with the sport, wrestling is really worth it, cutting weight is worth it, and the tournaments are amazing” Hiu said.

“I didn’t think that any of the girls would like to try out for wrestling””

— Melissa Hokunani

I decided to interview the person who started to promote the great news on social media, Jeric Liam. Liam has been a wrestler for 3 years. I asked Liam whose idea it was to make a girls’ wrestling team, “It started with seeing a couple of girls, coming out for the team. Then as a team, we decided to work for a larger team, now there are more girls than guys”. Fascinated by the news, I decided to also interview some of the girls on the team, and then I realized not only were they the first female students who created a girl’s wrestling team, but they were also from different backgrounds. This means that Renton High School’s first girls’ wrestling team was built by students of color, which clearly portrays the diversity Renton High has.

As I interviewed some of the ladies on the team, all of them expressed interest and curiosity about the sport. Nyasia Saetern said, “It feels great to finally represent girls from RHS”. Saetern commented that she wanted to express herself more as a person and explore her options, but of course, she looks forward to having fun with her team. Tabitha Martinez explained her interest in wrestling. One thing Martinez is looking forward to is seeing how much the girls’ will grow through the season. She explained that wrestling so far has helped her mentality in a huge way, especially when it comes to school. Jacquelin Abrego, who is also part of the team, explicitly commented on how excited she is to see how the season turns out. She also looks forward to building relationships with those on the team. I asked her, what made her want to join the team, “ I wanted to try something that was out of my comfort zone and challenging. Also, the fact that this was the first girls’ wrestling team encouraged me with making the decision to join because we would all be making Renton history”. I wish the best for these young ladies who went out of their comfort zone, we are here to make history, not to repeat it.