The first ever women’s wrestling team at College of the Redwoods

The folks at College of the Redwoods are so excited to finally have a women’s wrestling team.

Brandon Benvenuti, head coach for the men and women’s wrestling teams at CR, explained the excitement for the new program.

“First ever women’s wrestling season in the history of College of the Redwoods,” Benvenuti said. “It’s just awesome that another program is opening up and providing opportunities for these young adults to come and wrestle in college.”

Saturday, March 2 was the team’s first home tournament. The tournament featured wrestlers from San Joaquin Delta, Sac City College and, of course, College of the Redwoods. The tournament was a scrimmage, meaning the wins and losses won’t count towards the wrestlers’ records.

Among the competition was a pair of sisters, Annalise and Maizie Fugate. Annalise wrestles for Eureka High and Maizie wrestles for CR.

“Once I found out that my coach had sent out a text to the high school coaches saying that the high school girls could come out and wrestle,” Maizie Fugate said. “I got really excited and I know that my sister loves wrestling and competing and so I asked her if she wanted to come out and she asked if we could wrestle and I said, ‘let me talk to my coach,’ and so I asked him and he said, ‘yeah’ that we can wrestle and I better beat her.”

“Well, you did, so good job,” Annalise Fugate said.

Even though the big sister won the match, both siblings had fun.

“She’s my biggest inspiration, my biggest motivation,” Annalise Fugate said. “She’s the reason I’m still at this, still going hard, getting back up every time and just keep going. She’s just helped me through a lot and it’s been rough and it’s not always gonna be easy but she’s my biggest help.”

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