Taylor DiDonna is going to have a busy year. Not only will
she be adjusting to attending a new school, she also plans to make history in
Bayport-Blue Point athletics.
The former Mattituck resident began her junior year at B-BP high school Monday and has all intentions of making the varsity boys wrestling team come tryouts in November.
It’s a feat she accomplished while at Mattituck for two years. She played two years as a JV member and one year of varsity on the district’s 2013 championship wrestling squad.
But this time around she hopes to get much more mat competition time and improve her match record which was 0-3 last year.
“I’ve always been interested in combat sports since I was little. I was a bit of a tomboy. I just decided in seventh grade that I wanted to give it a try and it just stuck with me,” she told Patch this week in an email interview.
“I like how it’s very exciting. It’s interesting to watch and just really fun doing it. Plus the satisfaction of pinning someone is just such a rush,” she added.
According to Bayport-Blue Point Athletic Director Timothy Mullins, the B-BP wrestling squad has never had a female wrestler on a team.
“At least not during my tenure,” he told Patch in an email, adding “but there’s a first time for everything.” High school female athletes are allowed to compete on boy wrestling teams according to NYSPHSAA Mixed Competition Guidelines.
DiDonna, however, isn’t just a wrestler. She also intends to continue her track career at B-BP in the spring.
This past season she competed on Mattituck’s varsity squad and was a top sprinter. She hopes to compete in the 100m sprint and beat her best time of 13.10 seconds, as well as the 200m sprint and 200m and 400m relay events.
While she knows the wrestling interest may draw debate and opposition, noting that not all her wrestling teammates at Mattituck were happy about her competing, she said female athletes should have the freedom to play whatever sport they’d like.
“You have to do whatever you feel is right and not listen to other people’s remarks and opinions,” she said in her email. “Most of them will be negative. Stay true to what you wish, don’t ignore your feelings because of what others think. Go for it!.”
While excited about trying out for both teams, she is sad to have left the Mattituck track squad.
“I had a very successful year running the 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash, and the 4x100 relay. I’m upset about leaving my team because I felt respected and well liked for my skill by the other girls and my coach," she said. "I’m looking forward to joining the BBP track team in the spring.”