High school wrestling: Choctaw's Becka Leathers is one of country's top female wrestlers

Leathers has won six national wrestling championships in girls wrestling, including the USA Wrestling cadets (15 and younger) title in Fargo, N.D., last summer.
by Ed Godfrey Modified: January 30, 2013 at 7:19 pm •  Published: January 30, 2013
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“The best girls I get in my program are the girls who wrestle on guys' teams,” he said.

Leathers, a 16-year-old sophomore, has defeated many male opponents in the past but has yet to post a win this season for Choctaw High School, which finishes its dual season Thursday night at Edmond North.

She has lost a couple of close decisions but has earned the respect from the coaches and wrestlers on the opposite side of the mat.

“Technically and toughness wise, she is as good as any boy out there,” Brinlee said. “Once girls get into high school, it's just hard to match strength.”

Leathers said every opponent she has faced this season has been stronger.

“Even when I pull a ton of weight and wrestle at a lower weight, they are still physically stronger,” she said. “Once you get up here and you are wrestling seniors and juniors and people your age just bigger than you, it's a little different.

“I work my butt off when I wrestle guys. It just usually isn't in my favor. When I wrestle girls, I can move them easier.”

Her matches usually draw a lot of attention because she is a girl, but Leathers would rather get the attention because she is a good wrestler.

“You have to be tougher and stronger and quicker to wrestle the guys,” she said. “If I didn't wrestle the guys all of the time, then I definitely would not be as prepared to wrestle the girls. I probably wouldn't have those titles (in girls wrestling) if I didn't wrestle the guys all of the time. It helps me a lot.”

by Ed Godfrey
Reporter Sr.
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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