Loy Norrix senior Sheridan Britney, at first glance in the halls, is a seemingly normal teenage girl. But if you catch Britney after school, you’d find her in her element; out lifting her peers in the weight room and talking trash and destroying guys on the wrestling mat to back it up.
Britney is the captain of the Loy Norrix wrestling team going into her senior season and is the true definition of an athlete. Britney played volleyball her freshman and sophomore year, ran track all four years, cross country her junior and senior years, and has wrestled for the past 3 years. Britney was even a state qualifier in the 4×400 meter relay her junior season of track and field.
Britney may be small in stature, but she makes her presence known. In the right setting, Britney blossoms from a quiet, unassuming girl into an outspoken competitor that scraps and fights for everything she’s earned. In a way, Britney wrestles with a chip on her shoulder.
“I definitely always have the fact that I’m a girl in a boy’s sport in the back of my mind. You would be surprised how many looks and stares of disapproval that I get. And when I lose, it makes me feel that much worse,” said Britney.
Her teammates speak highly of her and look up to her as a leader and a motivator.
“She’s competitive and hardworking, she’s a really good team motivator, she pushes herself and others to do great things,” said junior teammate Ian Burns.
Britney was trained and taught by former Knights and state qualifiers Aaron Holmes, Jalen Pace and two time state runner up Nick May. Britney watched and grew under the wings of these great wrestlers and now in their absence, she has stepped up to lead the team.
“Nick, Jalen, Cutter [Olmstead] and Aaron were all extremely encouraging and also very funny. They had a lot of jokes for me but when they called me a ‘dog,’ it was definitely a highlight of my day. I am beyond grateful for their support as well as my coaches’,” said Britney.
Wrestling coach Darrick Parker admires Sheridan’s work ethic and willingness to learn.
“[Coaching her is] Pretty easy because she’s a great listener when it comes to the sport of wrestling because it is still so new to her,” said Parker.
While it’s simply ignorant to say that gender doesn’t play at least a small role in one’s ability to compete on the mat, Britney doesn’t allow that to limit her. She works hard to prove the doubters wrong and show that girls can wrestle.
“Gender is definitely a factor. It’s much harder for girls to compete in this sport, and therefore much less common,” said Britney.
Britney has even inspired another girl to join the team, sophomore teammate Sierra Misner. Britney’s presence on the team shows girls that wrestling isn’t just for the boys. People are starting to see that.
“Yes, [her presence has impacted me] because she is so strong and has a lot of willpower that she uses to motivate the whole team, especially me because she knows what it’s like to be a girl wrestler,” said Misner.
While Britney may be confident and boastful when it comes to her physical abilities, she is very modest about her motivational and inspirational impact on others.
“I don’t see myself as inspiring, but people do come up to me and tell me how great it is to see me wrestle. I’m happy to have gotten more girls to join our team here at [Loy] Norrix,” said Britney.
It’s safe to say that Britney is truly a special athlete with a competitive fire that affects those around her. The wrestling team is in good hands under Britney’s leadership as she continues to prove the naysayers wrong.