Finn Holleran: Woman Wrestler


Finn Holleran

Junior Finn Holleran mid-match during a meet.

Julia Matuszek

By Julia Matuszek and Emily Mendieta

Warming up behind the bench, junior Finn Holleran makes circles on the mat practicing her technique as she prepares to tactfully take down her opponent. As a first-year wrestler and one of the few women on the team, Holleran stands out due to her dedication to the sport. Wrestling is considered to be an extremely difficult sport which involves strength and skill. If one were to think about the participants of this sport, they would usually imagine two males wrestling during a match, but Holleran tackled this stereotype as she jumped at the chance to be apart of the girls wrestling team.

“The idea of wrestling was introduced to me by my best friend Hana Richter. She was the manager of the wrestling team last year, so sometimes after school, I would go to the wrestling gym with her and watch some of the practices and I thought that it was so cool. When Coach Geno offered a girls wrestling team this year, I was really excited to join,” Holleran said.

Holleran is an overall athletic person who has played other sports such as cross-country, volleyball, and water polo. Although she has played a wide range of sports, wrestling was a sport that was incomparable to the others.

“Wrestling is totally different to other sports and sports teams I have been on. Wrestling is obviously much more physical than any other sport I have played before, but the wrestling team is also different,” Holleran said.

Holleran has not only noticed the difference between all other sports, but she has also noticed that the practicing atmosphere is also something she never experienced before.

“It is much more strict and I have noticed that the kids that wrestle love the sport and love coming to practice and want to get better, whereas kids on other teams didn’t have that drive and dedication,” Holleran said.
Although she had prior restraints about the sport being really difficult and strenuous, Holleran found herself being extremely dedicated to refining her skills and felt rewarded when her hard work paid off during matches.
“I have definitely made improvements since the beginning of the season. At the beginning of the season I struggled with doing double-leg takedowns, and now I don’t struggle with them anymore and I use them as one of my first-period takedown moves,” Holleran said.
Not only has Holleran made tremendous improvements but she was also able to have fun along side her best friend with whom she entered the sport with. They both motivate each other to become better wrestlers and are extremely proud of their season so far.
“She came from a volleyball based athletic background so the fact that she joined wrestling was very shocking and it was a very big change for her. She pushes herself and for her first year, she has a good record. Turns out that Finn and I are 14-2 and that is something that we both take pride in,” junior Hana Richter said.
Holleran has definitely fallen in love with the sport and as one of the six girls on the team she has been overall empowered and given a huge confidence boost. Although there are a lot of pros to wrestling for Holleran, there are also some cons to it as well.
“Some challenges I face being a girl wrestler are finding other girls to be able to wrestle. Since girls wrestling is not as popular as soccer or volleyball it is sometimes difficult to get a match because the other school might not have girls or they might not have girls in my weight class which means then that I don’t get to wrestle,” Holleran said.
Wrestling for Holleran has involved a lot of conditioning and strict practices that have only intensified her love of physical fitness. Holleran is never scared of tournaments because of the hard work she puts into her practices giving her the overall confidence she needs to succeed.
“The tournament that has been most memorable to me would have to be all of the tournaments we have had at Homewood-Flossmoor High School. I think we have now had three tournaments there, and competing there is always so much fun, and always a challenge,” Holleran said.
As well as a dedicated wrestler, Holleran works hard in DECA, fundraises for Dance Marathon, and tutors in the Lit Center. She is a well-rounded student who gives her all in each activity she participates in.
“Finn joined the program this year and has done an amazing job. She is tough, works extremely hard and is coachable,” coach Anthony Genovesi said.
Holleran plans to continue working hard at wrestling and encourages other girls to join the team because of its physical pay off and rewarding improvements.