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The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

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Female wrestler modernizes the mat

Avery Mattison wrestles with her opponent at the Toys for Tots Invitational at Ocean Lakes High School on Dec. 21, 2023. Photo used with permission from Tim Rafalski.
Avery Mattison wrestles with her opponent at the Toys for Tots Invitational at Ocean Lakes High School on Dec. 21, 2023. Photo used with permission from Tim Rafalski.

Proud.

The feeling that overwhelmed freshman Avery Mattison as she stepped onto the mat with french braids, a singlet and headgear.

“I feel proud of how much I have improved, and no matter how the match turns out, I know it’s a learning experience,” said Avery. 

Avery began her wrestling journey four years ago at Kellam High School’s Mat Rats Club, which she participated in on and off for a few years. Entering the doors of Ocean Lakes, she found the opportunity to begin again. 

Judo, a form of Japanese martial art, is another sport she participates in. 

“[My biggest inspiration is] Cami Miller. She has pushed me to continue wrestling and without her, I would not have done it in the first place,” said Avery.

Miller is a class of 2019 graduate and former Ocean Lakes wrestler. She coached Avery for seven years in both wrestling and Judo.

“She is very humble about her accomplishments. She is ranked fifth in the nation for Judo at her weight class, and just a few months ago placed third at a national competition,” said Cami Miller.

Competing in the 120 weight class, she won a match against a 126-pound male at Tallwood High School.

“All the guys have been very kind since conditioning started. They basically treat me like any other wrestler,” said Avery. “It is hard to wrestle them, with just the muscle difference, but other than that it isn’t too bad.”

She plans to continue wrestling throughout the rest of her high school career with goals to inspire others.

“I hope to place in nationals in the future and be an inspiration for any future female wrestlers that are too scared to try it out,” said Avery. “Female wrestling has not been sanctioned in Virginia yet. This affects the amount of girl wrestlers there are, so I hope to inspire others to try it out.”

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About the Contributor
Chloe Purvis, Webmaster
Chloe Purvis is a second-year journalist and webmaster for The Current. Outside of school she enjoys traveling, baking and hanging out with friends. In the future, she hopes to attend Old Dominion University.

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