Coxsackie, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Sunday morning Coxsackie-Athens provided a first for Section 2 wrestling when they hosted the first sanctioned all girls tournament for female wrestlers across the state and beyond.

The Riverhawks welcomed female wrestlers from Section 1, 3, 4, 5, 9 and even Vermont to come and compete with Section 2 girls. New York state is one of 17 states that has still not sanctioned girls wrestling, and Coxsackie-Athens head coach Ryan Palmer hopes pulling off events like this encourages NYSPHSAA to make the change.

“The fact that we’re able to get participants out here to wrestle shows that the girls are out there that want to compete and we’re now giving them the opportunity to do so at the folk style, at the high school level,” Palmer said.

“Rather than throwing them out there against boys and so this is really leveling the playing field and giving them the opportunity,” Palmer said. “The fact that we got the turnout we did, I mean we got kids all over the state. They want to wrestle. I’m glad we were able to put on the event and I’m glad we got the turnout we did.”

“Getting this tournament and tournaments like this out there shows whoever runs these things that girls should have an opportunity,” Schyler Caringi, a senior wrestler at Coxsackie-Athens said. “Girls should have their own bracket to do whatever they want to compete fairly.”

“The best way to show somebody you can do something is to go and show you can do it yourself,” Palmer said. “If New York wants to host a state tournament let’s do it right here. I’ll do it in two weeks if you want me to, so let’s roll.”

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