What weighs 128 pounds and can kick your behind?
The answer is Shoemaker High School senior Maya Little.
Little is a member of the girls wrestling team, and is already well on her way to another fantastic season.
Last weekend, Shoemaker headed to the Clear Falls Arm Bar Invitational wrestling tournament, where the team finished third overall.
Anchoring that result was Little, whose loss in the championship match to Elissa Douglass was her first of the year.
“It was a very intense match,” said Little, “I was up in points the whole time, but I got too high and she caught my mistake.”
Little doesn’t let a loss keep her down though.
“I know what I did in that match,” said Little, “and every time I think about it, I’m like, ‘Ah, dang,’ but it gives me great motivation to work harder in practice so if I see her again I can win against her.”
The Shoemaker wrestling team is coming together well under the guidance of coach Ken Soloff, and with leaders like Little in place, the younger members of the team have a lot to live up to.
“We have some young wrestlers on the team, and they’re getting better as the year goes on,” said Little. “I try to help them out and become better, because as soon as I graduate, somebody’s got to take my place, and I want them to be as good as I am.”
Little’s current record of 10-1 is also allowing her to achieve her personal wrestling goal this year — to be a placer at the state tournament in February.
“I haven’t placed yet,” said Little, “I’ve been close. I’ve finished 10th and eighth, but this year I really want to place. Whether it’s as the state champion or sixth, I just want to place.”
Little also knows that wrestling can be her platform from which to launch the rest of her life.
“I want to have wrestling in my life,” said Little. “Not necessarily be a professional wrestler, but to have it in my life. I hope I can continue wrestling in college, and I’d like to major in mass communications and media studies.”
Little has wrestling in her blood. Her father wrestled for years, and she comes from a wrestling family.
“I listen to music all the time to get myself pumped,” said Little. “It helps me focus, lets me think about my first move, and I try to go out there and dominate. I watch my opponents before I wrestle them, so I know what they do, their antics, and I base my first move around their type of wrestling.”
Her music of choice?
“Drowning Pool. The song ‘Let the Bodies Hit the Floor’ works really well for me.”