LAKEVILLE, IN. – LaVille sophomore Brianna Sauer is in her second year in the LaVille wrestling program. And Sauer may be the only female Lancer wrestler, but she is using this opportunity to her advantage.
“I used to play basketball,” explained Sauer. “Basketball really wasn’t my thing, so I wanted to stay active in the winter, so I thought I would try wrestling.
“Its been really good, a good experience,” said Sauer. “I’ve learned a lot of different things. Not just wrestling, but life also. Wrestling has taught me to not give up on things. Always be determined for the things you want.”
About a month ago, Sauer found out that there was going to be the first-ever girls wrestling state tournament,. When asked about what she thought, she responded, “It felt great. I like to see other girls stand up for themselves. Girls can be successful in a “man’s sport”.”
At the Rochester Regional on January 6, Sauer successfully defeated a pair of opponents. In her first match, she pinned Lafayette Jefferson’s Bethany Blackwell with a second left in the third period.
“I executed a cross-face bundle,” recalled Sauer. “I already had her on the mat, I just needed to get her in a position to pin her.”
She also pinned her second opponent – Kaylee Meyers of Penn High School.
According to Sauer, “I received a bye in the second round so I was able to watch my opponent. She came out very aggressive in our match, but I slowed it down to my pace. After slowing the match down, I was able to use an ankle pick from the neutral position to get her down to the mat.”
Now it’s on to state for Sauer. She will take to the mat for the Indiana High School Girls Wrestling state finals Friday January 13 at Hamilton Heights High School. Weigh-in will be at 6:15 pm, with all the wrestling starting at 6:45 pm.
There will be 16 weight classes and 86 girls qualified for state overall. Sauer is one of five girls in the 182-pound weight class. Wrestler’s from Penn, Lafayette Jeff, Pike, and Richmond join Sauer.
After receiving a first round bye, Sauer will wrestle Jasmine Hale of Pike.
“State is a whole different ball game from regionals. I just have to be able to do my own thing. I told my coach that I have a lot of drilling to do before state.”
Sauer has been wrestling the guys that weigh more of the 182 and 170 pound area. “The more experienced wrestlers are really pushing me,” she said. “The are all excited for me and really supportive of what I am doing.
“I feel like my coaches have helped me make a run here. I feel like I can execute the moves,” continued Sauer. “I know that I have confidence in myself. I’m really looking forward to it. This is a new thing for me. I’m excited.”
Sauer, who stands in at 5-foot, is also preparing herself for matches against opponent’s. “I feel like I’ve used height to my advantage. I’ve learned how to move on the mat. I‘ve also been running moves against taller wrestler’s in practice.
“If my opponent is taller, I look at her a figure out in my mind what moves I can perform and then I just believe that I have drilled it enough to know what to do.”