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All-Girls Wrestling Team a Hit

at Inwood School

INWOOD — When the Inwood Academy for Leadership Charter School launched a co-ed wrestling program last year, only a handful of grapplers showed up for tryouts — and most of them were boys.

So, this year, the team's coach and athletic director decided to split the squad between girls and boys to encourage more participation from the ladies.

The move resulted in 16 girls from the school trying out for and making the team — a bigger turnout than their male counterparts.

"I had more girls interested in wrestling than I did for track," said wrestling coach Andrew Dos Santos, 25, a former college wrestler, referring to his other coaching job at the charter school.

But that interest alone didn't automatically translate to success for the girls, who have had to face off against boys as one of the only all-girls middle school wrestling teams in the city, Dos Santos said.

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