NewsRegion North Pinellas


Girls ready to wrestle after FHSAA sanctions the sport

Girls Wrestling
Posted at 4:49 PM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 17:53:04-04

PALM HARBOR, Fla. — A black eye is no big deal for Clare Booe.

“Yea I got that during practice. Some kid's hand flew back and hit me. And I was like, well, that’s nice.” Booe said.

After starting with judo, the sophomore at Palm Harbor University High School switched to wrestling and said she loves it. Whether it's against boys or girls, she’s hard to beat. She already won a state championship and is competing around the nation.

“A misconception is you have to be real aggressive person to be a wrestler. You don’t have to be. You just have to be willing to diligently put in the work and get the good out of what you do," Booe said.

The Florida High School Athletic Association just made girls wrestling a sanctioned sport for the first time. So wrestlers like Clare can officially be in the record books for regional events and even state championships.

“And I think that’s just a cool thing for girls to be like my name will be at school if I do something great with this." Booe said.

Because there aren’t always enough girls to practice with, Clare is used to wrestling with the boys.

“I’ve known most of them for a while," Booe said. "It’s not weird because I’m used to it now.”

“The development aspects of wrestling boys in the room is great. She used to wrestle boys and beat boys. And I think in this county, outside of a couple of boys here that would beat her, she would probably beat all of them," said Clare's father, Keith.

Florida is one of 32 states of have girls wrestling with sanctioned state championships. And Clare hopes to be winning more of them in the years to come.