Gold Star In Sports, Positive Sports News

High School Wrestler Refuses Match With Girl

An Iowa high school wrestler qualified for the state tournament in his weight class. He had a 35-4 record for the season, but in his first round match forfeited his opportunity at a run at the state title. Why in the world would young Joel Northrup give up an opportunity at a state title? He passed it up because he refused to wrestle Cassy Herkelman, a young woman who had also qualified for the state tournament, stating his religious and personal beliefs forbid him from acting in a violent way towards a female.

At first glance, my reaction was “Are you kidding?” Why would you pass up an opportunity to win a state championship? Would young Mr. Northrup be embarrassed to lose to a girl in the state tournament? But the more I thought about it, the more I admired Joel’s decision. Mr. Northrup appears to be a young man who was raised right by his parents, and was taught from a very young age to be respectful to women. Those values of respect and decency to me hold a lot more weight than the opportunity to compete and win a state championship.

I’ve seen people respond to this article calling Mr. Northrup a wuss for refusing to face a girl. I disagree with that, and in fact admire his decision. If it was a team sport or a non-contact sport and he wouldn’t face Cassy Herkelman in a match, then I might agree with that assertion that he is a wuss. But because Joel Northrup is sticking to his values of not getting into a physical battle with a woman, I am hereby awarding him a Gold Star!

  • Read the article here.
  • Followup article with Herkelman’s reaction can be found here.

Edited Feb. 18, 2011.


About Tim

This will be the greatest comeback in fantasy sports writing history since, well... Actually, it is probably the least ballyhooed comeback in fantasy sports writing history, but what the hell. I'm doing it for myself. If it turns into something bigger, great. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.


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