Pennsylvania -- arguably a hotbed for amateur wrestling -- will now have at least one high school with a dedicated girls wrestling program.
McCaskey High School in Lancaster will be the first in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to have a girls mat program, thanks to a unanimous vote of the School District of Lancaster in an already-scheduled meeting to address a number of topics, conducted remotely to comply with guidelines designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, according to Dustin Hockensmith of PennLive.com.
"With Tuesday's vote, McCaskey becomes the first school in Pennsylvania to sponsor a girls team, fulfilling the district's commitment to equity and diversity and to leadership that ensures all students have equitable opportunities," wrote Dave Byrne, sportswriter for LancasterOnline.com.
"I'm hopeful that other (schools) will see this as a road map and follow suit," said McCaskey Director of Athletics Jon Mitchell.
To that end, the bylaws of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) state that 100 member schools must sponsor a sport (such as girls wrestling) before it will consider officially sanctioning that sport and creating its own championship.
The McCaskey girls mat program will launch this fall. Current wrestling coach Isaias Rodriguez will oversee both the boys and girls teams at the school. Plans are to hire an assistant coach this summer.
Girls high school wrestling has grown exponentially in the past couple years. Currently, 21 states have officially sanctioned girls wrestling, creating separate regular-season competition and state championship events. As recently as the beginning of 2018, six states had separate state wrestling championships for girls: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Tennessee, Texas and Washington State.
McCaskey High School is located in Lancaster, between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania state capital. The public high school has a total enrollment of approximately 2,700 students.