Wrestling club president looks forward to her first in-person season

Katelyn Rogers doesn’t let being the only girl in the wrestling club stop her from becoming the president.


During her freshman year, Katelyn Rogers was the manager for Temple University’s wrestling club, managing books and scorekeeping. However, watching the guys in the club work hard inspired her to join them on the wrestling mat and become club president, even though she would be the only girl on the team. 

“I just saw the aspect of the guys working hard and it made me honestly want to join them in doing what they do, like always constantly working out and working towards a goal,” said Rogers, a senior double major in criminal justice and political science and the wrestling club president. 

Rogers knew that being a beginner in a male-dominated sport wouldn’t be easy and she would have to challenge herself because many of the guys have prior experience from wrestling in high school, she added. This is her first year ever wrestling after club sports were canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As the manager, Rogers had a strong work ethic and earned respect from the men in the club because of her dedication, said head coach Kurt Paroly.  

“She leads by example,” Paroly said. “As I said, she’s respected. She’s not one of those super vocal people, you know, she’s not going to sit there and scream and yell. But everybody listens to her.” 

Aside from managing scheduling and paperwork for the team as president, Rogers is responsible for communication between the wrestlers, Paroly and Campus Recreation, Paroly said. 

“She gets it all done without question, without a problem,” Paroly said. “I know if something needs to get done, she gets it done.” 

While Rogers has never wrestled before, she already knows some of the athletes from her time managing and the team has started bonding through club practices, Rogers said. 

The club has two-hour practices three days per week and many members choose to work out by lifting weights in addition to practice, Rogers said. 

That end goal is to make it to the National Collegiate Wrestling Championships’ national championship competition, which is hosted in Allen, Texas, and is scheduled for March 10-12, 2022, Rogers said.

“We are a competitive club and if we all work together we can definitely reach an end goal,” Rogers said. 

The wrestling club previously qualified for nationals in 2016, The Temple News reported.

Olutobi Jayson King-Aromire, the wrestling club secretary, works with Rogers and other club officers to make sure that everything is running smoothly and the club is on track to meet their goals, he said. He and Rogers are both hoping to take the team to nationals. 

“We’re getting our lift on and we’re getting stronger and we’re working on really bringing what can really bring us to that national title,” said King-Aromire, a freshman biochemistry major.

Having a girl on the team hasn’t been awkward at all and the team has been inclusive, King-Aromire added.  

Both Rogers and Paroly have tried to get more female students to join the club with the goal of creating a women’s wrestling club, she said. A few girls have temporarily joined the team but none have stayed. 

College wrestling is a big commitment that not everyone can make, but Rogers always makes her best effort at practices and challenges herself to be a better wrestler and leader, she said. Her personal goal is to wrestle as much as she can, learn from those experiences and make it to nationals. 

“It’s not necessarily about the wins for me but I know, eventually, I will get there,” Rogers said.

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