Tournament over for wrestlers in boy-vs.-girl drama
Joel Northrup, left, and Cassy Herkelman leave the scorer's table Thursday.
February 18th, 2011
02:09 PM ET

Tournament over for wrestlers in boy-vs.-girl drama

The drama is over in the Iowa state high school wrestling tournament.

Cassy Herkelman, a freshman from Cedar Falls who advanced by default Thursday when a boy refused to wrestle her, lost twice Friday and was eliminated, CNN affiliate WHO-TV in Des Moines reports.

Joel Northrup of Linn-Mar, the boy who refused to wrestle any girl because of his religious convictions, won one match Friday in the consolation round but then lost and was eliminated.

A second girl, Megan Black of Ottumwa, lost Thursday and again Friday and also was eliminated.

Read the full story from CNN's This Just in Blog.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Culture wars

soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. www.072movie.net

    p5@[i{k8, http://www.072movie.net, movie, http://www.072movie.net/

    April 6, 2011 at 8:01 am |
  2. Karrie

    i think only girls should fight girls and guys should fight with guys it was very nice of the guy to give in the match he did the right thing

    February 22, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  3. Chase

    I say pile drive her stupid ars

    February 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  4. Rex

    Lol..I bet the girl has short hair and is fat and built as a thick moose.

    February 19, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
  5. Rebel

    This girl or any girl in this sport must be a f***ing butch!! She will be getting a pen^s transplant soon..lol.

    February 19, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
  6. Liz Ence

    I just watched the coverage on CNN live with the stupid so called professional opinion from a doctor giving her rediculous 2 cents! How dare she end with suspecting this decent boy of being afraid to lose to this girl?! Kudo's to this boy and his family! In this world full of losers and disrespect there is at least one decent, respectful youngman left! Great job on setting such a positive example. More grown men could learn from this smart boy!

    February 19, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  7. WEB

    Great example of what it means to "man-up."

    February 19, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  8. Bobby

    why can girls wrestle in iowa, but boys cannot play volleyball?

    February 19, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
  9. d

    he was afraid he'd get a woody.

    February 19, 2011 at 4:14 am |
  10. Mark from Middle River

    Hey Davey. Calm yourself dude, right now you are sounding desperate against H.Sent. He has you, as a atheist , to the point that finds only you spitting out scripture.

    Life lesson, never let an advisory rattle you to such an extreme.

    February 18, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Actually, I'm not rattled at all.

      In most of my posts, I use scripture to attack deluded beliefs. It is effective.

      You said: "Life lesson, never let an advisory rattle you to such an extreme."

      Well, that is your opinion. Glad you could share.


      February 18, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      No problem. I had a few scriptures I could of given you but since you are a atheist I respect your views. The thing is that H.Sent I do feel is Reality's long lost brother and he seemed to be running you around in circles.

      cheerios ... Multi Grain ..giggle

      February 19, 2011 at 2:05 am |
    • HotAirAce

      @Mark from Middle River

      Sincerely asked, are you serious? I wont claim to have read every post by HeavenSent but I haven't seen a coherent argument from him/her yet!

      February 19, 2011 at 2:12 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Ace, Its one of those things. That's why I call H.Sent, Reality's long lost brother. Both come in....carpet bomb with tons of text thinking they are clever and that the other side will either respect them for the sheer volume of text or worst are arrogant enough to believe the other side is so weak minded that their views will crumble because they have never seen anyone bring so much counter view to them before.

      H.Sent has made a few good points but with +2k threads I doubt if anymore from either side, both those that support or disagree with each of them really reads their long post.

      But, if we can get both of them into a posting war I am pretty sure we can divert enough CNN server power away from Christiane Amanpour and Anderson Cooper.

      February 19, 2011 at 2:55 am |
    • HotAirAce

      @Mark from Middle River

      Agreed. And this new paged format makes it very difficult to stay on top of a thread and previous posts. CNN's blog soft-ware has gone from bad to worse!

      February 19, 2011 at 3:17 am |
  11. Jared

    High contact sports, such as this, should never be co-ed. It present too much of a moral issue to have young men and women groping on each other. Wrestling isn't like other sports. If I was the chick I'd have been like "hey, you're touching my breasts" and then pinned the dude when he was distracted.

    February 18, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Jared, it isn't only a moral issue, not that most even know what that means. It is a fact that men and women are built differently. With that said, they should both be respected for what they have to offer our world and that is not injuring, or possibly killing one another.

      Boys are taught from an early age not to touch and intentionally hurt a girl (or woman). For a reason! Men are built stronger than a woman, unless she's a moose woman that can hurt a few men, but never most men. She will never match strengths with a man that is equal to hers. No matter what delusion is blinding her thinking.

      February 18, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You said: "No matter what delusion is blinding her thinking."

      Delusion? People in glass houses, should not throw stones.

      You are a joke.


      February 18, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Heaven Sent, I feel sorry for you. You have bought into the "poor little female" stereotype. What you call "delusion" is simply someone ignoring the artificial limits put on them by people who don't want them to succeed.

      February 19, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  12. mattmchugh

    For the record, when I was in high school (30 years ago) there were one or two girls on teams within the region. It was 100% standard practice among every coach and wrestler to simply forfeit to the girl on the very, very rare occasions where one was actually listed in a match. So, while this incident seems to have created a little news-blip, it's far from unprecedented.

    February 18, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  13. pete

    For anyone who says that "women should stick to their own sports", or "wrestling women is like violence against women", you bl-ow. And the one person who said soemthing about injuring her spinal cord and not having babies later. Really? Can't a dude injure his spinal cord and not have babies later either? You really bl-ow. What about women voting? Are they too meek to do that too? What about black people? Should they get to the back of the bus?


    February 18, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      pete, that was my post and I did mention men and women that take care of their children. I also posted about injuries of athletes as they age. Just ask any limping older male/female former athlete.

      If you read my posts I wasn't leaving men out of taking care of their children. As to all your other references about "What about women voting? Are they too meek to do that too? What about black people? Should they get to the back of the bus?" shows that you are the only one that missed the bus for having to throw other topics in to build up your zero aka numb gray matter post.

      Moe Curly was speaking to you pete when he said ... "I tried to think, but nothing worked".... woooooooooo, woooooooooo.

      February 18, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • David Johnson


      Give me your opinion on the following:

      Does God strongly desire that everyone, or almost everyone, believe that he exists?

      I found these verses, which seem to indicate that god definitely does want everyone to believe He exists.
      Do you disagree?

      John 3:16 (King James Version)
      16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

      Romans 10:9 (King James Version)
      9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

      1 Timothy 2:4 (King James Version)
      4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

      Curious in Arizona

      February 18, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
  14. Amber87

    I am so proud of this boy for standing up for his standards. He should not by any means even be having all of this controversy against him. It was his choice on his moral standards and he was so strong and courageous to do what he did. So many others who may have also had those beliefs would have just wrestled her because they feared the backlash against them. But no, this kid stood firm for what he felt was right. Horay for him! And I agree with his decision.

    February 18, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Ranger

      What is there to be proud of?? Some chivalrous idiot forfeits a promising sports career to satisfy some ill conceived illusion of nobility, born out of ignorance and myopia....? Or was he afraid of looking bad if one of the girls managed to beat him?
      What point was he making here? "touching women in an inappropriate manner"?? what does that mean? They are ALL wrestlers! It is a contact sport, which they all volunteered for. There is no VICTIM here! They are not little babies.

      This is the 21st century and women are playing a largely co-equal role with men. They deserve as much respect and all privileges due to men. Women should be treated equally with no special pampering and "protection". This silly guy should go back to the 18th century

      February 19, 2011 at 1:06 am |
    • Amber87

      @RANGER .... Did you not even read what I said? You asked what I was proud of, I said I was proud of him for standing up for his standards. What he did had nothing to do with fear of being beat by a girl. And he even admitted that he was fine with a girl wrestling, but he himself was not going to wrestle her. Don't take this boy's choice so personal. My goodness, you act like he just spit in her face. He did nothing of the sort. He just merely didn't want to touch her.

      February 21, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  15. Dan in Clive Iowa

    Northrup forfeited to Black (the other girl that went to state) a couple of years back in a tournament for the same reason. It was no surprise that he conceeded to any of us here in Iowa. The fact that this has been played out on the national stage is really kind of a shame. Give Northrup a break and it's not like Herkelman didn't get to wrestle. Herkelman's record was 20-13 while Northrup's record was 35-4. She lost two matches at state to guys with worse records than Northrup's. To put his wrestling ability into question, that he didn't want to lose to a girl, is just ignorant. One thing that no one is discussing (which I find funny) is the merit of the girls getting to state in the first place. Did they advance to state as legitimate contenders with pins or did other opponents forfeit as well, which would have skewed their record? I respect the decisions of Northrup, Herkelman, and Black. I'm sure none of them came easy under this spotlight...but I'd really like to know all the details, and like most news storys we probably never will; at least in the print.

    February 18, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  16. ajs

    I'm trying to figure out where religion comes into wrestling a girl.

    February 18, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Dan in Clive Iowa

      His Dad said it came from his faith and personal belief. Without knowing him personally, if I had to pick a verse that supported Northrup's decision not to wrestle her it would probably have to be 1 Peter.

      1 Peter 3:7
      Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

      February 18, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Amber87

      It's not that its 'against his religion' but it's against what his religion has taught him over so many things. His view over it is that it would be improper and immoral to touch a girl in such an intense, close, and provocative manner. He believes that yes he not only needs to be a gentleman, but that he needs to not only respect this girl's virtue, but also his own virtue.

      February 18, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      ajs, Ahhhhhhhh, maybe the 6th commandment for the jews and the 5th commandment for the gentiles will ring a bell for you.

      Thou shalt not kill/murder (english version for those that do not read)

      February 18, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
  17. Reality

    Once again, wrestling, unlike golf, swimming or running, is not a life-time sport and therefore should not be supported by tax-payers' money. Note that the life-time sports are gender neutral.

    February 18, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  18. shelly

    The only drama was created by the media

    February 18, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      The drama shelly is the pitting of young men against young women and vice versa, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.


      February 18, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      I gotta agree with Shelly. The media went after this story to hear something come out of either of the wrestlers or their families. As soon as the father of the girl understood and made kind remarks for the boy the story was dead on arrival. That the boy didn't come out spouting what the media calls right-wing/tea party comments they were stuck.

      February 18, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  19. shelly

    Why such the fuss. He made it clear that the reason he was uncomfortable was that wrestling can get aggressive/a bit violent, and he was not comfortable dealling with a female in that way, he was raised that you are not violent or aggressive toward women. Nothing innappropriate about feeling that way, they made a whole lot of mountain out of a molehill

    February 18, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Mike

      The "molehill" is that this boy had to bow out of a state championship tournament. He has trained for years to get to this point, only to have it taken away by a girl who isn't going to the olympics as a wrestler, is not going to college as a wrestler, is not going to have the chance to get a wrestling scholarship...but this could have had it all, and he had to put his dream aside, and I think that is a shame.

      I don't mind this girl wanting to be a wretler, but if you are going to have women competing in "mens" sports, give them their own division, make it fair to both genders. This boy lost his dream.

      And don't send me any stupid hate comments. My daughter played on a boy's lacrosse team because her school didn't have girl's lacrosse when she transferred high schools, and she was treated no better or worse than any guy, and she put a bunch of guys on their butts, and vice versa, so I am not against girls playing any sport...but I do feel bad for boy in this story. I applaud his morals...but it is still a crap situation for him.

      February 18, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Nothing was taken away from the boy! I guarantee you the rules including the probability of being matched against a girl were known in advance. He did not have to enter.

      February 18, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Wrestling between male and female is the modern version of the heathens cheering as they threw the Christians to the lions.

      That's what folks get for not remembering history, for it does repeat itself.

      February 18, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You said: "Wrestling between male and female is the modern version of the heathens cheering as they threw the Christians to the lions. That's what folks get for not remembering history, for it does repeat itself."

      Even with God's all powerful help, you could not be any dumber.

      First, there were not a lot of Christians fed to the lions.

      The Roman persecutions were generally sporadic, localized, and dependent on the political climate and disposition of each emperor. Imperial decrees against Christians were usually directed against church property, the Scriptures, and clergy.

      Everett Ferguson estimated that more Christians have been killed for religious reasons in the last 50 years than in the church's first 300 years.

      Who is Everett Ferguson?
      Everett Ferguson (born February 18, 1933) currently serves as Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. He is author of numerous books on early Christian studies and served as co-editor of the Journal of Early Christian Studies. – Wikipedia

      2nd, your comparison is ignorant. I actually could not find a word for beyond stupid.

      The Christians were torn apart. Murdered by the lions. People watched as people's limbs were severed. Their entrails exposed.

      You think wrestling is comparable to people being eaten by lions? Your faith is rotting your brain.

      Perhaps you think this is like the trash you see on t.v.? People hitting each other with chairs? Jumping on their opponent's chest from the top rope?

      I could only find 1 fatality that occurred immediately after a wrestling match. Baseball is far more dangerous.


      February 18, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
    • HotAirAce


      You should take your own advice re: history.

      *Every* god has been supplanted by some other god. Yours will be no exception, as there is nothing to even remotely support your god being more valid than Zeus, Apollo, The Easter Bunny, Unicorns or Santa Claus.

      February 19, 2011 at 1:45 am |
    • tallulah13

      So Mike, is that girl's dream of less value than the boy's? You certainly seem to think so, despite your daughter's experience. She has the right to try for what she wants. Maybe if enough girls want to wrestle, they can get scholarships too.

      February 19, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  20. Ron B

    This may surprise some people but boys and girls are NOT the same. For a boy to wrestle a girl he is required to suspend all the rules on improper touching. Grabbing her breasts off the mat will get him arrested.... grabbing her breasts during a takedown will get him a win........ The boy (or girl) should not be forced into this position.

    February 18, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      These females (teenager mindset) are clueless to the fact that they may want to have children in the future and getting a spinal injury or worse on the mat is not fun while they go through the years of picking up their child during their growing pains. The only pain future momma will have will be all over her body.

      This sport, as well as a few others have taken women's lib to a twisted state.

      Real women know they do NOT have to prove NO-thing to NO-one.

      February 18, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Religions are BS

      "Grabbing her breasts off the mat will get him arrested.... grabbing her breasts during a takedown will get him a win"

      You make it sound like you know the rules & what's il/legal in co-ed wresting; you are just pontificating about your ignorance! 🙂

      February 18, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • ajs


      That's a poor argument. A spinal will ruin anybody's day regardless of gender. In addition, spinal injuries can happen (more often) in cheer-leading, soccer, pole vaulting (and other field events) and to a lesser extent basketball. Should girls be barred from playing those sports in interests of their reproductive viability?

      Furthermore, a shot to the balls can sterilize a man. So baseball, basketball, soccer, football, and just about every sport ever invented is off the list as far as your logic goes.

      February 18, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
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