Posted: February 17, 2011 in sports
Tags: , ,
Joel Northup & Cassy Herkelman


Iowa high schooler Joel Northup was slated to wrestle a female opponent, Cassy Herkelman, in the first round of the Iowa state wrestling tournament. Given a choice, he defaulted the match, giving Herkelman a first round victory and putting himself in the losers bracket.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy and her accomplishments. However, wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times. As a matter of conscience and my faith I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner. It is unfortunate that I have been placed in a situation not seen in most other high school sports in Iowa. -Joel Northup

It seems, after reading the comment section from most of the news outlets online, that the general public is torn on Northrup’s decision. Some people are against the girl, saying she shouldn’t be playing a “man’s” sport. Some are against the boy, saying, “wrestle the girl and get it over with – that’s why you signed up to wrestle anyway” And then there are some are, like me, saying that it’s a shame that people can’t see this is a no-win situation for Northup.

It’s very unfortunate that we put teenagers in a situation in which they have to choose personal ethics over athletic achievement.

Where do you stand?

Read the full story at ESPN Yahoo! or Huffington Post

  1. I can hardly blame the kid if he believes it is inappropriate to be rolling around on the ground in physically suggestive positions with a female. Whether that be his motive or not, I don’t disagree with his decision. It is an awkward position to put a pubescent young man in. Sorry Iowa.

  2. Brooklyn says:

    I don’t know that I have a real strong opinion either way. However, I do have a lot of respect for the way this young man handled the situation. I think it shows maturity because he could have definitely handled it much differently. So, reguardless of opinion I think it’s important to respect and honor his decision.

  3. I believe that this was Josh’s win or lose situation….not the young lady’s so much…and as other folks have reflected; it is much more awkward that he should have to make a decision about this sort of thing in that sort of a situation, (state tournament) where he was 30-4 and she was 20-13 or some similar such thing////I guess if it was my decision to make I may have been likely to wrestle the young lady as I would have given her the benefit of the doubt that she deserved the match..but, I wouldn’t have grandstanded the decision so much otherwise and would have done my best to minimize my time in front of any camera or questioning from any newspaper or media outlet….

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