Lincoln-Way to Launch District-Wide Girls’ Wrestling Program

Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210 will have a girls’ wrestling team next year. The cooperative team will be housed at Lincoln-Way Central and coached by Josh Napier, who has spent the last six years as a special services teacher and coach for Lincoln-Way.

Napier has 13 years of coaching experience, coaching at Oak Forest High School, and starting the Hickory Creek Middle School wrestling program as their first head coach. He served as the head freshman wrestling coach at Lincoln-Way Central for the last six years and has been actively recruiting for the girls’ side of the program. 

Napier has taken the lead in working with the girls as an extension of the boys’ team over the years, having been to three IHSA girls’ state tournaments. Just at Central alone, the number of girl wrestlers grew from two to 15 over the past four years. There are expected to be nearly 30 athletes on the district’s inaugural team next year.

“I am excited to watch this program continue to grow as the girls now have space to be themselves and build confidence on their own team,” said Napier. “I believe we will be competitive right off the bat, and I look forward to continuing to help these athletes become the best they can be.”

Girls’ wrestling is currently the fastest growing high school sport in the country, with an estimated 50,000 athletes competing across the nation. Napier says there are a lot of youth programs in the area that will continue to build up confident wrestlers as the sport gains traction.

Napier said, “This is a long-term commitment for me, and I am excited for the future. I have a 2.5-year-old daughter who I hope to see come through this program in the future.”

Both high school and elementary athletes alike can partake in a piece of history this summer and attend Lincoln-Way’s first girls’ wrestling camp. Summer camp will run June 24th-27th, with the K-8 camp taking place from 9:30am-11am, and the high school camp from 11:15am-12:45pm. To register for camp, visit https://manage.snap.app/register/lwc/dashboard/catalog