It would be fair to say that Tamara Reed dominated in her first showing at the Alabama Girls State Championship. Her first match was over in 19 seconds, her second in 20 seconds and she won the …
It would be fair to say that Tamara Reed dominated in her first showing at the Alabama Girls State Championship. Her first match was over in 19 seconds, her second in 20 seconds and she won the heavyweight title match in 48 seconds. The win made her Baldwin County High School's first state wrestling champion.
Reed is a junior at Baldwin County High School and has wrestled for two seasons. Off the mat, coach Josh Andrews says she is an extremely good student, a great person who watches out for everybody and is always positive. On the mat she is aggressive and coachable.
"Her strength is her coachability. You teach her something and she will try to implement it out there. She is aggressive and that is one thing that helps her out so much when she is in a match like at state. She loves to do a knee pick and it usually works 99% of the time. The next thing you know she is running a half and rolling them and pinning them," Andrews said.
Reed is the only female on the Baldwin County High wrestling team and started wrestling because of her older brother Tabarro, who started in eighth grade. Her younger brother Tyris also wrestles for Baldwin County.
"I was always a strong girl, so I decided to try wrestling and I loved it," Reed said.
While her mom didn't want her to wrestle initially, Reed said she has only missed one match since her brother started and is always their loudest cheerleader.
She doesn't mind being the only girl on the team because she has grown up with all of them and they are like brothers, she said, but added she is hopeful more girls will join.
"I do wish there were more girls. Every year we have the middle schoolers visit the high school. They see all the sports teams and all the stuff they can get in to. I try to talk to them and try to recruit some girls. Last year we had two girls come out, but they quit after the first week," Reed said.
Andrews said his goal is to work on recruiting more girls and trying to get interest. Right now, the Alabama High School Athletic Association is voting on the sanctioning of girls wrestling. The two-step process includes a survey to schools asking if they support the sanctioning of high school girls wrestling. It takes the 45 schools or 10% of member schools to say yes before it is put to vote.
In Baldwin County, Daphne High School and Spanish Fort have girls' teams and most of the other teams have girls on them. At the 2022 Alabama Girls' State Wrestling Championship 45 girls' teams with over 140 wrestlers competed and overall, there are more than 200 competing during the 2021-2022 season. Andrews said having more girls makes it a little easier to recruit.
"We have been able to show there are girls on every team now. There are literal teams of girls at Daphne and Spanish Fort. It's easy to say you aren't going to have to wrestle boys all season. A lot of girls don't want to wrestle boys all season. It helps a ton when I can show them a 120-pound or 130-pound girl. Our whole pitch is you are going to get fair competition. There are girl tournaments and girls' state, and we can get them into matches they are more comfortable with," Andrews said.
This season, Andrews worked hard to find Reed matches. He said it is difficult to find someone willing to wrestle her. Either they do not want to wrestle her for fear of embarrassment, or the team doesn't have anyone that is able to wrestle her. This season, Reed went 6-2 in wrestling boys and 6-0 wrestling girls.
"Last year I didn't get to have a lot of matches, but this year I loved getting those matches. Hopefully next year I will have a lot more," Reed said.
Walking into the Alabama Girls' State Championships, Reed said she was thinking it would be a good experience builder.
"I have grown a lot this year, but I didn't think I would go to state and win," Reed said.
But after pinning her first opponent in 19 second she said, "I was like oh that was easy. It was one move, and I had her pinned."
Going into her second match she was happy to finally have the opportunity to wrestle her opponent. Reed has seen her all season.
"I knew I was going to beat her because her coach would never let me wrestle her at home tournaments," Reed said.
Going into the championship match Reed knew she could beat her opponent if she played smart.
"I knew I could beat my opponent, but I didn't know how long it was going to take me. I had to make sure not to make any stupid moves and just be smart," Reed said.
When they raised her hand as the winner of the championship match, she said all she could do was smile. Her accomplishment took time to hit her.
"It didn't hit me until I was on the way home because I was getting posted everywhere on social media. I was like gosh, I made history," Reed said.