BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - When Rose Cabaniss started wrestling two months ago, she never thought she’d be part of helping change the sport.
“Right now it just means everything, I’m excited and it’s fulfilling this passion in my life,” said the John Carroll freshman.
On Saturday, nearly 100 high school female wrestlers across the state of Alabama will compete in the first-ever AHSAA Girls Wrestling State Championships at Hoover High School.
“As women, it’s very empowering to see these girls get the chance to do it. This is something when I was in high school, I would have never had the chance to do something like this so to see these girls have this opportunity, it’s very inspiring,” said John Carroll wrestling coach Wendy Zito.
“What’s great about the girls tournament is they’ll have the opportunity to go against girls, and they’ve never had the opportunity to do that, so they’ve been working really hard learning the moves,” added John Carroll wrestling coach T.J. Zito.
Saturday will be Rose’s first match to ever wrestle in while competing for a state championship. Although she’s a little nervous, she’s thankful for this opportunity that has taught her so much about herself.
“I’ve learned that I’m much more confident than I thought I was because before joining wrestling, I used to be self-conscious about my body and my weight and having to do a sport where, OK, you step up on a scale and everyone knows how much you weigh, you’re going out and kind of putting yourself out there for everyone to see. I’m really proud of myself because I can embrace who I am, my personality, and my size,” said Cabaniss.
Rose received her first-ever wrestling uniform this week and hopes she can continue to inspire girl wrestlers everywhere. “I’m setting high expectations for myself and I really hope everyone does the same,” she said.