Girls High School athletics have come a long way since the advent of Title IX. Just about every sport has its own title for girls, but that's not the case in High School Wrestling, as it's co-ed, with girls competing with the boys.
The Georgia High School Association records date back to 1961, and no girl has ever placed in the top six until Statesboro's Kasey Baynon came along, finishing fifth in the smallest weight class.
"It's been my goal since I started wrestling, to place at the state level, it's been a dream of mine. I was just so excited. I didn't even get my hands raised in that one match. I just went and jumped into the coach's arms, I was so excited," the high school Senior said.
"It's a huge deal. There are only six placers in every weight class. She did what 99 percent of the wrestlers, including myself, never can accomplish, is get on that state podium. It's a brutal bracket, it's a brutal tournament, and you've got to do so many things just to be in the state tournament, let alone finish in the top six, so it's very impressive. It's unprecedented," said Bo Viness, Blue Devils' Wrestling Coach.
Baynon got into wrestling after becoming disinterested in gymnastics and picked up her brother's sport. Her brother wasn't the one she was worried about approving her move to wrestling.
"I actually had a conversation in the car with my mom. I remember it because I was so nervous to ask. I said, 'Mom, I want to wrestle.' 'Well, you've got to talk to your dad.' That was really nervewracking for me, but he was open to it, and he was okay with it, but he obviously had his concerns," Baynon said.
While a Senior this year, she's not done with wrestling. The Blue Devil is headed to Emmanuel College where she will be competing against other women.
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