HIGHLAND SPRINGS, VA (WWBT) - Brittney Reed saw her brothers wrestle when they were in high school and began to think that she could do it better. That started her journey in the sport that she has grown to love.
Brittany began wrestling herself when she was 12 years old. Now a freshman at Highland Springs, she’s the only female on the Springers’ varsity team. The jump in talent from middle school to high school is something she needed to get used to, and it wasn’t easy at first."
“I used to cry once to twice a week,” Brittney remembered. “Every practice I would just bawl.”
“First two weeks, that’s all she did,” laughed Highland Springs head coach Edward Gore. “I said ‘Brittney there’s no crying in wrestling.’”
She stuck with it and has now grown to excel at the varsity level.
“I didn’t quit because I’m not a quitter, but as I kept going it got easier.”
Gore applauds Brittney’s determination and work ethic.
“She’s one of the hardest workers that’s in the wrestling room,” the head coach remarked. “She thinks she has to prove something, and I told her ‘you don’t have to prove anything. Just work hard.’”
That’s exactly what she does. During practice she squares off with her male teammates, and meets find her going up against her male counterparts at her 170 lbs. weight class from opposing teams. Going up against the guys day in and day out, however, prepares her better for when she hits the mat against female opponents.
“It’s harder because you know they’re stronger than you, so you make sure you have the best technique,” said Reed. “I feel like if I get a move down with a guy, I could easily do it on a girl.”
Results would prove her correct. Brittney is 4-0 against fellow female wrestlers this season, and is ranked number one in the state at 170 lbs. by USA Wrestling. She’s defeated four male opponents this year and has only been pinned once. However, her achievements stretch far beyond wins and losses, as she serves as a trailblazer of sorts among her peers.
“Right now I have a lot of females who come in and watch Brittney practice and they come up to me [and ask if girls can wrestle] and I say ‘sure,'” said Gore.
Brittney will compete at the female state meet next weekend, is aiming to earn a spot at the national meet in Oklahoma next month, and hopes that this is just the beginning. She hopes to find a college with a women’s wrestling program and eventually compete at the Olympic level. Gore has three more years to coach Brittney, but says he thinks we’ll see her in the Olympics one day. As for her high school future, Brittney’s coach says the sky is the limit.
“By her senior year, she’s going to be tough. There are going to be a lot of guys right here who are probably going to change sports because they probably don’t want to wrestle her.”
Gore said he also hopes to eventually get enough girls out to create an all-female wrestling team. He certainly has the person to build around.