Sunday, October 2, 2022

Riverheads wrestler to represent Virginia at national event

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Riverheads wrestler to represent Virginia at national event

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) – An eighth-grade wrestler at Riverheads Middle School will be representing Virginia on the national stage and will be relying on the community to help her compete.

At age 11, Mariah Roberts switched from cheerleading to wrestling and football, where she found a group of like-minded student-athletes.

“It’s fun. Wrestling is more of an aggressive sport than anything else,” said Roberts. “I made a lot of friends in wrestling and football.”

Roberts is an incoming freshman at Riverheads High School and is already dominating on the mat. She won the Virginia Wrestling Association (VAWA) Championship in both folkstyle and freestyle wrestling. This year, she took third place in the first official VHSL girls state championship.

Girls wrestling is not yet an official VHSL sport, so Roberts competes against boys more often than girls.

“This is my sport,” she said. “It’s tough but it’s worth it.”

Roberts is coached by her father, Patrick, in both wrestling and football. In June, they will be traveling to Oklahoma for the Girls National Duals, where Roberts will represent Virginia in its first-ever 14-and-under team.

“It’s a big stage,” he said. “She’ll be competing against people from all over the country, so it’s a chance to learn and improve.”

However, Roberts is relying on the Valley to help her afford the travel expenses for the trip.

“This requires a lot of extra money,” she said. “Any support really helps out.”

Her family has set up a Go Fund Me page which can be found here. This support will help Roberts compete on June 17 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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