Only in Indiana: Pinned


Winter time can be a fun time for snow angels and snowball fights.

For the Delois sisters, it's all good fun with a friend in the front yard. Don't be surprised if it takes a competitive turn for 10-year-old Sydney, though - especially when the boys come around.

Her sweater says it all: "Crushing boys spirits - one pin at a time".

"She's been wrestling now for three years," according to Sydney's mom, Tina. Looking around Sydney's room, Tina points to different medals her daughter has won. "This is the one from nationals last year when she got 7th place. And this was for second place this year at state."

Her parents estimate she wins about 75 percent of her matches these days, which are mostly against boys. Dad wrestled or coached wrestling all of his life. Sydney would go to the club practices, and pretty soon she wanted to try her luck.

"Well, there was a lot of people getting the wrestling forms and I just thought it would be cool to try it out," Sydney remembers, saying she had no idea she would turn out to be as good as she is.

"I was actually more for it than my husband was," Tina said. "He was like, 'No. Absolutely not'."

"I had the idea I wanted a princess rather than a wrestler, I guess," Jason answered.

Well, now he has both.

If anyone were to ever question that or say something like, "You're a girl, you're not supposed to be wrestling," she says she would just tell them, "'I can take you on the mat right now and whoop your butt'."

Her wrestling leotard even reads "Who says girls can't wrestle?" on the back.

The answer may not as many people as you think. There are roughly 10,000 girls in Indiana alone who have a wrestling card, according to Tina.

She does have a smile that can melt your heart, but it belies a steely spirit that could also rip it out.

"They think I am not strong and then I go out on the mat and whip someone's butt," Sydney says.

"I think she knows she is in a male-dominated sport so she is the underdog every time she steps on the mat," Jason says.

As her coach, her dad yells instructions to Sydney as she wrestles. As her father, he says she can quit tomorrow if she decides she wants to.

For now, she wants to wrestle. All 70 pounds of her.

The girls state wrestling championships are March 13 at Warren Central. Girls Nationals will be March 24-27 in Oklahoma City.