Freshman Louise Monnet wastes no time in strapping on her wrestling gear the minute school is out, laughing and talking to her teammates as she does. She gets ready for practice with ease and excitement, putting the stress of school behind her while she focuses on her sport.
Monnet is passionate about wrestling and her enthusiasm is obvious: she is always willing to help pull out or put away the mats, and doesn’t give up despite being one of the smallest and youngest wrestlers, not to mention being the only girl on the team.
For Monnet, wrestling is a family tradition. Both of her older brothers wrestle, and so it was only natural for her to follow in their footsteps. She described how her love for wrestling stemmed from the influence of her brothers in an interview.
“I started wrestling in seventh grade, […] my second brother was on the team with me, introduced me to wrestling and I fell in love with it,” Monnet said.
Monnet said that wrestling helps her to become more confident around people, since she tends to keep to herself sometimes. “It introduced me into a whole new world, a whole new sport, [it was] awesome, it opened me up,” she said.
Monnet and her brother, Victor Monnet, also on the Carrboro team, often have to wrestle together. According to Monnet, this was because of a lack of people on the team due to other fall sports.
“I have to wrestle with him, [and] he’s a higher level than I am, intensity wise, so it’s kind of stressful because since I know the sport, but I’m still getting used to the high school way of wrestling, so I’m a little bit slower,” Monnet said in an interview.
As a freshman and the sole female member, Monnet possesses a unique perspective. “Being the only girl on the wrestling team is actually quite funny, because you kind of get to hear the boys’ mindsets, but also for me, I’ve always been comfortable around guys, growing up with them has made me more comfortable [so] it’s been fun,” she said.
Although the only girl on the team, Monnet doesn’t let her distinction become a negative aspect of competing. While her status on the team could have been considered controversial, Monnet said that she hasn’t faced many barriers or complications since she has joined the team.
“There were a couple people that were surprised about it, and some girls came up to me, [but] they were so supportive which was really great,” she said.
Monnet’s goals for her first high-school season are to become a starter on the team, and make it to the state championships.
The wrestling team has been practicing almost every day after school since early fall, however their first scrimmage was on November 5. The season will extend into 2017, with the state championships being held on February 18.
Photo by Levi Hencke