Woodmore’s female wrestlers make history on the mat

Dec 26, 2023 | Featured, Sports | 0 comments

Hope Scherger anticipates the ref’s call prior to her match win at Clyde High School on Saturday, Dec. 17. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)


Woodmore wrestler Hope Scherger, competing at 128 pounds, took a second place win at the Clyde Invitational. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

A group of Woodmore Middle School girls are not just breaking down barriers; they are blasting through them. At their first competition, two of the girls walked away as champions. The girls are among the first female wrestlers in Woodmore history, and they are paving the school’s new road with gold.

Hope Scherger, competing at 128 pounds, and Tinley Thieroff, competing at 86 pounds, both won their matches and earned the title of champion at the Bryan Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 10. Vida Hernandez, competing at 115 pounds, came in second, and Elana Reif, competing at 98 pounds, came in fourth. The team came to finish second among 20 teams at the invitational.

Scherger said Woodmore’s girls’ team opened the door for her to try wrestling.

“I always wanted to do it, but I knew it would be hard with the boys,” she said. “I thought I’d probably be good.”

She was right. At the Clyde Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 17, where 50 schools gathered to compete, Scherger came in second at 128 pounds. Hernandez placed third at 110 pounds, Thieroff placed fourth at 92 pounds, and Reif placed fourth at 98 pounds. The team placed 15th overall.

Hernandez said she joined the team because she thought wrestling could build strength and confidence. She discovered she walked onto the mat with more natural skill than she expected.

“I was better than I thought I’d be,” she said.

What Hernandez didn’t expect was the role the mind plays in wrestling. Her mind pumps her up, calms her down, and helps her focus on her opponents’ skills and shortcomings.

Vida Hernandez overcomes her opponent at the Clyde Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 17. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

“I was surprised at how much you use your head in a match,” she said.

Wrestling opened Scherger’s eyes to the power of her own mind.

“I was surprised at how fast my mind is. I’m a lot faster-thinking than I thought I would be,” she said.

Wrestling transformed Scherger’s life as she now strives to be the best wrestler she can be.

“It’s a lot of work,” she said. “I eat a lot healthier. I got to bed earlier, and I get up earlier.”

Woodmore Girls Wrestling Coach Matt Thieroff gives advice to Woodmore wrestler Vida Hernandez at the Clyde Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 17. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

Although the girls work hard to strengthen their bodies and their skills, they walked onto the team with a lot of natural ability that is helping them reach early success.

“They are very good athletes and very strong. They started out athletic before we even began working on technique,” said Woodmore Girls Wrestling Coach and Tinley’s father, Matt Thieroff. “They already had good control over their bodies, and we added technique to that athleticism. Plus, they’re not afraid to get aggressive. They’re not timid at all.”

That fearlessness helped them find a place among the first Woodmore girls to fight on the mat.

“There are 50 schools here and all these girls, and we have the opportunity to wrestle here,” Hernandez said at the Clyde Invitational. “It’s cool to experience that, to be a part of Woodmore’s first girls wrestling team.”

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