Davenport Community School District Welcomes New High School Girls Wrestling Coach
For the first time ever, the Davenport Community School District will have a sanctioned, girls’ wrestling team. Josh Park has been named the head coach and will oversee wrestlers from Davenport North, Central and West High Schools.
“I’m every emotion you can think of,” Park said. “We’re making our mark.”
Park is no stranger to the mat. He wrestled when he was in high school before graduating from Davenport North in 1998. He was quickly back mat-side as his own kids entered high school. His daughter Tateum wrestled for North, and his daughter Sydney wrestled for Central.
In January 2022, the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union Board of Directors unanimously voted to sanction girls wrestling, making it the organization’s 11 th sport. Before that, girls competed against boys or against a limited number of girls. Park says sports programs tend to
grow once they become sanctioned at the state level.
“Wrestling is, by far, one of the most challenging sports,” Park said. “Wrestling’s been thought of as a boy’s sport. As more and more girls come out to wrestle, they see these are greater opportunities to do the sport.”
Park said he’s looking forward to the Davenport Girls High School Wrestling District Team hosting some open mat nights. One is coming up Wednesday, August 10 at 4 p.m. in North High School’s wrestling room. The open mat nights are opened to high school girls interested in learning more about the sport and the season.
Even as he’s entering his first season, Park is already working with a team of volunteers to secure the girls’ wrestling’s future in Davenport. He says there is a youth wrestling program in the works through Davenport West, expected to start mid-September. There’s also a middle
school program expected to begin in October.