Norwin girls meet the mat

Norwin High School adds girls to the wrestling team.



Freshmen Victoria Marflak, Josephine Dollman, and Anna Wendt pose for a picture after a long day of wrestling.

Watch out Norwin High School and Westmoreland County, wrestling isn’t a boys club anymore. The Norwin High School Wrestling team expanded its ranks with the addition of girls onto the team. 

Since the beginning of time, sports defined by their physicality have been dominated by men. As time has gone on, women have been breaking barriers and making a name for themselves within sports that they were previously excluded from. Wrestling is one of those sports. Ever since girls were given the chance to step onto the mat, they have taken it. A few select girls at Norwin have made that very same decision. 

Josephine Dollman (9) is recognized after winning her match. (Dollman)

The Norwin Wrestling team’s roster has expanded to include seven female wrestlers. Anna Wendt, 9; Graciana Castelli, 9; Josephine Dollman, 9; Addison Elyes, 9; Victoria Marflak, 9; Katie Smith, 10; and Amanda Wendt, 12 have all come to the same conclusion that wrestling is the sport for them. 

The Norwin Wrestling team has not had a strong female presence before, so this was definitely a change for the program. A big reason behind that change was because of the determination of Josephine “Jojo” Dollman. Wrestling for seven years, Dollman was always the lone girl on the team. It was definitely a challenge, but she persevered nonetheless. 

When her friend showed interest in becoming a wrestler, Dollman was hopeful that maybe more girls would join as well. 


“I have always wanted a girls team as I’ve been the only girl since I started in third grade,” Dollman said. “So when one of my best friends showed interest it just kind of skyrocketed from there.

Amanda Wendt (12) takes down her opponent. (Wendt)

The group of girls quickly came together and bonded almost instantly. 

“I love the girls so much,” Dollman said. “They’re like my sisters. No team I’ve ever been on has a bond like Norwin does and I’m so proud to be a part of a team that has the support of coaches and athletes alike.”

Despite the endless support and encouragement the girls get from their coaches and teammates, they face countless challenges with the still developing womens wrestling program. 

Top row: Katie Smith, 10; Octavia Walker, 8; Victoria Marflak, 9; Josephine Dollman, 9; Graciana Castelli, 9
Bottom Row: Amanda Wendt, 12; Addison Elyes, 9; Anna Wendt, 9 (nhsgirlswrestling2022)

“In order for women’s wrestling to be sanctioned in Pennsylvania by the PIAA there must be 100 school districts with a girls wrestling team,” Dollman said. “We are currently at 94 as of Jan. 24. We all want the same thing; we all want to be in Hershey for out-of-state tournaments like the boys do and to have the same opportunities as the boys do.”

Some of the girls have faced struggles not only within wrestling itself, but with their inexperience within the wrestling room. 

Sisters Anna (9) and Amanda Wendt (12) pose for a selfie after their matches. (Wendt)

“Some setbacks have been that most of the people in the wrestling room have been wrestling for many years longer than me so sometimes I don’t really know what to do,” Victoria Marflak (9) said. “But if I ask for help from my coaches they’re immediately there and ready to help and are very patient.”

The girls, however, haven’t let any setbacks deter them from success. Wrestling is tough on the mind and body, but they keep on going, working just as hard as the guys do. 

Pullquote Photo

Everything in the sport is so much better than the media perceives it. If you join you will not regret it so please consider it, we would love to have you join us and help us grow women’s wrestling.

— Freshmen Josephine “JoJo” Dollman

Wrestlers like Dollman have even found vast success in the sport. 

“Last year I was a Pennsylvania National Team member for Fargo Nationals in North Dakota,” Dollman said. “I am a state champion in Freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling (respectively) and I am a state runner up for Folkstyle wrestling in the junior high division.”

Even though the season is quickly winding down, the girls are excited to keep up their numbers and expand Norwin Girls Wrestling next year. 

“Advice for other girls wanting to wrestle: Go for it,” Amanda Wendt (12) said. “Everyone there is looking for your best interest and wants you to succeed. Push yourself to become better.”