North Freshman Hanna Zinn Defies Wrestling Stereotype


Hanna Zinn wins her first in State Title in 2014. Even though winning that award was a big deal, it was not her best moment. She describes her best one to be qualifying for State her first year wrestling. Photo by Phyllis Zinn.

Grace Wood, Staff Writer

Most girls are drawn to sports like softball, cheerleading, or volleyball — but not NFHS freshman Hanna Zinn. Rather, she is a wrestler and has been for about five years. She even won state champion in 2014.


Now, she is on the North Forsyth co-ed wrestling team comprised of both girls and boys. The school did attempt to create a separate team for the girls, but it fell apart when only four girls were willing to join the team. The female wrestlers are Hanna Zinn, Abigail Smith, Stephanie Elzie and Sophia Eglian.


Zinn is the reason why there are a total of four girls on the team and is not discouraged by the fact there are only four, because there used to be only one. Eglian joined the team when her and Zinn made a bet between each other; If Eglian tried wrestling, Zinn would try lacrosse. Ever since then, Eglian has loved it. Smith followed afterward when Zinn invited her to a wrestling practice, then gradually started coming all the time. Elzie was the last girl to join, invited by Smith. By doing the little things, Zinn encouraged these girls that they, too, could wrestle.


Zinn believes that girls shy away from wrestling, because they are afraid of being hurt, but  in reality, wrestling is one of the safer sports, because you may get a few bruises and get sore sometimes, but in cheerleading, the cheerleaders are flipped and thrown in the air with the risk of being dropped and badly injured. Zinn wants North Forsyth girls to know that just because you are girl does not mean that you cannot wrestle, and maybe if you just try it, you will love it.

Wrestling has built more confidence and strength both physically and mentally for Zinn. As Zinn would say, wrestling is very, very important to her, and it is one of the most important things in her life. Her father, Mark Zinn, inspired her to wrestle and always encourages her to be the best she can. For her, wrestling is not just a sport; it has helped her become who she is today.