EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. — A teenager from the Poconos who is used to wrestling with the boys is finally getting the chance to hit the mat on a women’s team.
Many high school seniors are still trying to figure out where they are headed after graduation, but not East Stroudsburg Area High School North senior Avia Bibeau.
This teen signed her name on the dotted line to become an East Stroudsburg University Warrior and has already earned a spot on the women’s wrestling team.
“It’s exciting because I don’t have to go far from home. I am able to see my family on the weekends or even during the week,” Bibeau said.
ESU announced its new women’s wrestling program last year. More than a dozen girls are on the team for its first season.
Anibal Nieves is both the men’s and women’s wrestling coach. He’s had his eye on Avia for a while.
“Just having a lot of local girls in this area, and now having one of the best local girls, Avia, top four in the country, it’s going to be a good thing for us. It’s going to open doors,” Nieves said.
Both Avia and wrestling coaches here are excited to see how quickly this sport is going to grow for women here on campus.
For the last few years, Avia has been wrestling on the boys’ high school team because there are no options for girls. Her coach says she’s been an asset.
“It does take a whole wrestling family to build a wrestling team and Avia is a big part of it. She brings a lot of energy all the time to the wrestling room and it’s great having her there. Hopefully, it will open the door for more girls,” said coach Mathew Hogan.
“It brings more girls in and shows that people, that girls, can wrestle, too. Girls can do male-dominated sports. It’s like the fastest growing sport in the U.S., women’s wrestling,” Bibeau said.
While Bibeau is eager to hit the mat on at the college level, she plans to enjoy her last few months wrestling with her high school friends.