Making history: RJR’s female wrestler


Emelie Patti, Managing Editor

Wrestling is becoming one of the fastest growing sports for girls in highschool. For those who do not know a lot about wrestling this may come as a shock seeing as it is not very common to find female wrestlers, especially in highschool. But the world is changing and women are starting to break down barriers. 

One of these barrier breakers is RJ Reynolds’ very own sophomore Josie Sell. Sell has been on the team since preseason in November, starting her first year of wrestling.  

Sell did not know anything about wrestling until she got a flyer encouraging students to tryout and soon she became very interested. Being new at a sport is never easy, but being new at a sport and being the only girl on a team of 11 boys requires a serious amount of courage and strength.

“Being the only female on the team has its ups and down,” Sell said. “I’m definitely not as strong as some of the guys which can be a struggle but I’m definitely getting stronger, physically and mentally. I am learning from the mistakes I make and becoming a better version of myself.”

It also helps having people encourage and motivate you to work hard and to not give up.   

“My coach definitely inspires me,” Sell said. “He is always pushing the team to just fight and to not give up. My teammates are like my brothers; we all have a unique bond. If I’m having a hard time with something, I know they’ll be there for me usually by cheering me on during a match.” 

Nick Stockton, a sophomore at RJR, is one of the many teammates she has inspired during her time on the team.

“Josie has inspired me as a teammate by encouraging me to hold myself accountable and by setting an example of what a hard working athlete is,” Stockton said. “She came in brand new to wrestling and now she is just as tough as any other member of the team.” 

Coming into a new sport, not knowing what is going to happen can be difficult but Sell has proven that she has the strength and ability to overcome any obstacles. She has become a true pioneer by being the first female wrestler at Reynolds High School. 

Due to the situation Sell is put in, there are not many other female wrestlers to compete with that are at her level but, of course, for Sell, when difficulty strikes, just work harder. 

David House, RJR wrestling coach, has found Sell’s ambition and toughness as an inspiration that no one should miss out on. 

“Josie has been a blessing for me, she has given us new hope to believe that you can do anything you put your mind to,” House said. “Josie is a great role model for any athlete/student that believes in setting a new bar for those around her. She has opened the door for any female student athlete to try something new that would have never been thought of until now.” 

Sell has a record of 8-8 and continued to improve throughout the season. Sell enjoyed her time on the wrestling team and hopes to be able to grow the team. 

“She is mentally tough and she is going to do great things at Reynolds and beyond because of her drive to be great,” House said.