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Holland Patent wrestler breaking the mold in high school wrestling

Kaylee Swaglin of the Holland Patent wrestling team is breaking the mold in a sport that for years has been considered just for boys.

Posted: Feb. 7, 2019 11:41 PM
Updated: Feb. 8, 2019 8:57 AM

Kaylee Swalgin's passion for wrestling started from a young age.

"I think I was six years old when I started," said Kaylee. "My dad was coaching the youth and they needed a 56-pounder and I came in and I said I'll do it dad. And then I ended up winning and I was like this I should keep doing it and I ended up just keeping with it and here I am."

The sport has brought her around the world

"When we were driving sort of on the outside of Tokyo where we were staying, I was like holy crap I'm in Japan!" added Kaylee. "I've been to different states, New York, different areas through the city, Pennsylvania, Michigan, West Virginia, it's brought a lot of success around."

With a lot of hard work, determination and support, Kaylee made the Holland Patent varsity wrestling team, as an eighth grader.

"It's amazing how much support I get from family members to people that live down the road," said Kaylee. "It's just amazing. All the people that came to the car wash so I could go to Japan a big thank you because it means a lot."

"She honestly could not have gone to Japan without the support of this community, the wrestling community so on behalf of the wrestling program and her family I want to make sure we definitely thank people are helping out and getting her to where she wants to be," said assistant coach and Kaylee's uncle, Jordan Swalgin.

As Holland Patent prepares for its 2nd annual Girls Can't What? all girls wrestling tournament this weekend, Kaylee offers some advice to those who look up to her.

"Don't let people tell you what you can and can't do. Just because you're a girl you can't do this, because you're this old you can't do that or you're at this level and you can do this level. I feel like with the girls there's no difference between them and the guys."

"To teach these young girls the self discipline and determination and sacrifice that they go through is definitely rewarding as a coach as an uncle for Kaylee. It's definitely rewarding in all aspects of that."

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