Pom-poms and pins a good combination for Arnhold

Whether she’s cheering for the girls’ and boys’ basketball team or slamming one of her opponents to the mat during a wrestling match, Marion’s Chelsea Arnhold is pinning her monogram on Marion sports.

“Both my dad and my brother wrestled, and my mom was a cheerleader, so I just do both,” Arnhold said. “I wrestle because I guess I like what it feels like to beat a guy.”

The Warrior freshman has been involved with both cheerleading and wrestling since she was in junior high.

On most Tuesdays and Fridays nights, after a tough day at wrestling practice, Arnhold slips out of her wrestling gear and into her a cheerleading uniform.

According to Arnhold, the change of pace is fun, but sometimes exhausting.

“I usually practice and then head right off to a game to cheer,” she said.

When Marion wrestling coach Chad Adkins isn’t coaching for Arnhold he’s cheering for her on the wrestling mat.

Adkins is optimistic about Arnhold’s future in wrestling.

“The sky’s the limit for her,” Adkins said. “She’s scrappy, aggressive and she does everything she can to be the best she can be.

“I guess you could say she’s one of the guys, so to speak,” he added. “(Her teammates) all cheer her on and she’s accepted totally.”

Being the only girl on the Marion wrestling team, and one of the few girls in the state to wrestling competitively, Arnhold said she understands the uniqueness of her situation, but said her time with the Marion wrestling team has been a great experience.

“When we go wrestle, as the only girl I can’t forget anything like shoes and my uniform because nobody can trade with me,” Arnhold said. “And I’ve done that once already this year.

“As a girl, most guys want to beat me just as much as I want to beat them-sometimes more. That’s what makes it fun.”

According to Adkins, girls who wrestle face a few more obstacles than their male counterparts.

“Some guys don’t know how to wrestle a girl, or won’t, and some are apprehensive,” Adkins said. “In the end, everybody gets a aggressive and will do anything to win a match.

“Girls have to be pretty dedicated,” she added. “As the weight classes get heavier, they really start to get out-strengthed.”

Wrestling in the lightest weight class, 103 pounds, Arnhold relies on her speed and technique to make up for her opponents’ physical strength.

“I have to be extremely quick when I wrestle,” she said. “The guys have an extremely big advantage over me in strength.”

Her coach agrees.

“Chelsea has to use her moves and be really technical to compete,” he said.

Arnhold, who wears a swimming cap when she wrestles, said being the only girl on the wrestling team can create some memorable moments.

“One time I pinned a guy who was 50 pounds more than I was,” Arnhold said. “Some of the guys started talking to kids around the school about it. Before I knew it everybody in the school knew about it.”

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