A surprise forfeit by Iowa high school wrestling favorite, Joel Northrup, led to a win for female wrestler Cassy Herkelman. Herkelman, a Cedar Falls native, became the first girl to win a state level wrestling match after Northrup said he would rather forfeit that wrestle a girl.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy and [Megan Black, the second girl who qualified] and their accomplishments. However, wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times. As a matter of conscience and my faith, I do not believe that is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner,” he told the reporters, “It is unfortunate that I have been placed in a situation not seen in most other high school sports in Iowa.”
Cassy’s father states that he does not hold any ill will towards Northrup and does not view his action as disrespectful. Howver, many online Yahoo and AOL bloggers are already jumping on Joel’s case by calling such names as misogynist, sexist, and bigot. While his actions may have been controversial, he repeatedly reinforces his politically correct stance.
By forfeiting, Joel also forfeits any chance of winning first or second place because he will never reach the final match. He could reach the semi-finals but his lost will keep him from going any further. Cassy on the other hand, still has a chance to win the big one.
According to Iowa state records, a girl has never won a single match at state wrestling finals much less the entire tournament. Wrestling has not traditionally been a female sport. When we think wrestling, we think of sweaty men hugging each other until a bone breaks. Northrup’s thinking is not wrong, it is just very fundamental. He did not want to accidentally hurt Cassy by accident in the match because he knew he would have to use force.
Pretty admirable thinking.