On January 27, two Deerfield wrestlers, Angela Osei-Ampadu ’21 and Anne Duong ’22, travelled to Andover to participate in the annual Phillips Academy Girls Wrestling Tournament. As the only two female wrestlers representing Deerfield, the girls achieved an impressive 11th place finish out of 29 teams competing at the tournament. Specifically, sophomore Angela Osei-Ampadu placed second in her weight class while ninth-grader Anne Duong placed 5th in her division.
Assistant Wrestling Coach Mark Teutsch, praised the two girls’ persistent attitudes and tenacious mindsets with regards to competing in a male-dominated sport. He shared, “Osei-Ampadu and Duong are wrestlers who share the character of promoting peace through quiet confidence of internal strength. This year, Osei-Ampadu and Duong have been trailblazers, as have other female wrestlers, by regularly competing against males, facing gender imbalances of anatomy and musculature that are regulated and advantaged by testosterone.” Wrestling is, however, a co-ed sport, and the girls emerged from the season with a great sense of accomplishment.
Osei-Ampadu commented, “In the regular season I wrestle mostly boys and it is very difficult to do well against them. Though we are the same weight, boys just tend to be stronger, but my team and coaches push me to put in my best effort during practice.”
At the beginning of the season, Assistant Wrestling Coach Dan Houston introduced the idea of attending an all-girls tournament at Andover to compete on a more level playing field.
Both girls accepted in a heartbeat and went on to represent Deerfield exceptionally well. Competing in a minimum of three matches each, both wrestlers prevailed through hardship.
Osei-Ampadu recounted her experience saying, “It was difficult having to wrestle three matches in a day. It was also discouraging when I lost my second match, which was the champion- ship match. However, Anne, my coach Mr. Teutsch, and captain Brian Shin, were all super supportive and helped me get back into the right mindset for my final match where I was competing for the second place medal.”
Wrestling Captain Brian Shin ’19, who was also present at the wrestling tournament, complimented the girls on their perseverance and fearlessness saying, “It is commendable to witness these two young girls go into a male-dominated sport at such a young age. It was very brave of them to enter the tournament by themselves. Wrestling with some of the best girls in New England certainly makes it more daunting.”
All in all, the 2019 Phil- lips Academy Girls Wrestling Tournament was rewarding for Osei-Ampadu and Duong, allowing them to gain experience and confidence while competing on a level playing field.
Both athletes performed exceptionally well and represented Deerfield with class and character.