Since becoming an Olympic sport in 2004, the popularity of women’s wrestling has skyrocketed over the last decade. Life became aware of this and announced last September that it was adding women’s wrestling to its already rapidly-growing athletic program, becoming the first and only college in Georgia to have women’s wrestling.
“The team Georgia Girl’s Committee has worked hard the past few years to get more opportunities for females to wrestle females in the state,” said Anthony Flatt, president of Team Georgia Wrestling, in a release. “Having a collegiate program at Life University will further their initiatives and provide those opportunities.”
Ever since Life University reinstated its athletic program in the fall of 2008 with men’s basketball following a seven-year hiatus, other recent additions were women’s cross country and men’s wrestling
The team, which has between 15-20 committed wrestlers, is set to make its debut in the fall Oct. 10-11 at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tenn. The money donated by the three wrestling organizations are going toward Olympic mats, uniforms and other equipment and expenses.
Since announcing the launch of the program, Life has 11 commitments with 18 more under negotiations. Five of the 11 committed are from Georgia including recent North Cobb graduate Tyesha Topps, who wrestled three seasons on varsity for the Warriors.
Gorman and head coach Dave Matthews have recruited wrestlers by attending the Body Bar Women’s National Championships and at the War of the Roses Southeast Championship in February at Life. They also took a trip to Daytona last week to watch the Cadet Duals and plan to attend the Fargo National Wrestling Championships in July at Fargo, North Dakota. On those trips, they recruited experienced wrestlers from Florida, Texas, South Carolina and as far as Hawaii.
“Being a smaller division, it kind of a Wild, Wild West standpoint,” Matthews said. There are three top schools, Simon Fraser, Oklahoma City and Cumberland University. We have a good shot at having two to three All-Americans from the group that we have this fall. The expectations are that we can compete immediately.”