WORDEN — Huntley Project junior Gretchen Donally has only been wrestling for three years.
Don’t let that fool you, though, as the Red Devil stud is a perfect 44-0 this season, a number backed up by her work in the wrestling room.
“I've had people ask, 'Why are your teams so competitive?' Really, its more of a tribute to them, I think, because our room is so competitive it makes everyone better. There's no place to go hide and not wrestle somebody tough every day at practice," Huntley Project head coach Tim Kaczmarek said.
Life might be harder in those practices for Donally than matches. She’s one of just two girls on the team, leaving her to match up primarily with the guys, who boast the top-ranked B-C team in the state. But that’s no different than what she’s experienced growing up with four brothers.
“They tortured me," Donally said. "It's always a comparison between me and them and our successes. It's just a very competitive dynamic with my family, and we're always trying to be better than each other."
Already a state champion, Donally is continually building upon a special legacy over in Worden. As she continues to cement her status among the state’s best, she’s hoping it will entice future Red Devils girls to hit the mat.
“I think it's huge, especially for the girls in our club. They look up to her and kind of idolize her. She does a very good job communicating, talking to those girls, so I think that helps our program overall to get more girls out," Kaczmarek said. "I'd really like to have three, four, five, six more girls."
Donally and the Red Devils hope to hoist some gold this weekend inside First Interstate Arena.