LIBERTY, Mo. — This year, Liberty North High School created its first girls wrestling program.
It's one of the fastest growing sports for girls. It's also the first year the sport has been sponsored by the Missouri State High School Activities Association.
"I just realized that it was worth a try and when I tried it, I liked it," said Vivian Anderson, Freshman, Liberty North Girls Wrestling Team.
Wrestling runs in Anderson's family. He dad is a youth wrestling coach and her brother has been wrestling since the first grade. Anderson said that's what got her into the sport.
In her first full season, Anderson is one of 16 girls that went out for the team.
"We had a big goal and I thought there would only be five or six maybe but we topped that by a lot," said Anderson.
The turnout prompted a girls program at the high school.
Like Anderson, Erma Williams also grew up around wrestling.
"This is my fourth year, I started in 7th grade," said Williams.
Not every girl on the team has wrestled before, including the new Assistant Women's Coach, Laurel Concepcion. The girls are learning together and have big expectations for the season.
"My biggest goal is to see growth, so even if the girls don't win all of their matches, was there a move that you did better on, was there something you were trying and you finally got it down," said Concepcion.
Last season in Missouri, less than 200 girls were on eligibility rosters. This year, there's more than 700. Before girls wrestling was recognized as its own sport in Missouri, girls would match up against the guys. This season, they still have the option to, but will have their own girls' district and state competitions.
"I'm just expecting us to go above and beyond kind of. I think we'll be really successful," said Williams.
The team is also hoping to set an example for younger girls interested in the sport.
"I just think it's like a really positive thing," said Anderson.
Missouri is the ninth state to officially add girls wrestling as a sport at the high school level.