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The Suburbanite
  • Wrestling success continues in McKinney family

  • Who said girls can’t wrestle?


     


    Jaydyn McKinney will let you know first hand she can, and will, take you down.

    Jaydyn, 6 of Manchester, has been growing up around wrestling her whole life. Her father, Bill McKinney, exposed her to the sport at an early age.

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  • Who said girls can’t wrestle?
    Jaydyn McKinney will let you know first hand she can, and will, take you down.
    Jaydyn, 6 of Manchester, has been growing up around wrestling her whole life. Her father, Bill McKinney, exposed her to the sport at an early age.
    Bill, who is a Summit County Sheriff, also coaches wrestling at Manchester. He would bring his daughter to the matches, and because of that, she has been around the sport her entire life.
    Still, it was Jaydyn’s idea to try out the sport.
    “When I heard I was having a girl, I thought, there goes wrestling,” he said. “But now, I wouldn’t trade her for five boys.”
    Jaydyn took to the sport quickly, probably in part thanks to her at-home wrestling partner.
    Her mother Jonell said when they play in the living room, the two are wrestling on the floor. Not exactly the stereotypical image most people think of when you have a 6-year-old girl and her father spending time together.
    This past year while a kindergartner at Nolley, she wrestled during the year and compiled a 30-8 record. About three-fourths of those matches were against boys.
    Why does Jaydyn enjoy taking on the boys?
    “Because it’s fun beating boys and winning,” Jaydyn said.
    Jaydyn has enjoyed learning all sorts of different moves - double leg, single leg, bulldog, half-nelson and head and arm just to name a few. Bill said she is good with her throws, part of the Greco-style of wrestling.
    Jaydyn’s ability allows her to leave her mark on her opponents. Her father said when Jaydyn goes up against a boy for a second time, there is a mutual feeling of not wanting a rematch.
    “She says, ‘I don’t want to wrestle him, I beat him,’” Bill said. “And the boys will say, ‘I already wrestled her, why do I have to wrestle her again?’”
    She did take on other girl wrestlers in the state, competing in the USGWA Girls Wrestling State championships at Chippewa High School in March. She placed third, and then moved on to the USGWA National Championships in Ypsilanti, Michigan. There she took fourth in the 45-pound weight class.
    She has also wrestled against 8- and 9-year-olds already, showing she is not afraid to take on anyone.
    Bill enjoys coaching youth wrestlers, much like his daughter.
    “I’ve coached a lot of kids,” Bill said. “There is satisfaction starting them off when they’re young, then 12 years later you see them stand up on a podium as a state champion.”
    Bill was a two-time state champ in high school in Florida, before moving up to Ohio and wrestling for Manchester for one year. He placed at state as a Panther, then went  on to wrestle at Cleveland State University. Though Jaydyn’s mother did not do an organized sport, she swims and skiis, making for an all-around athletic family.
    Page 2 of 2 - Besides wrestling, Jaydyn is into soccer, dirt bikes, four-wheelers and helping her dad in the garage with motorcycles. She also enjoys playing with the boys in the neighborhood, having no qualms about being rough with them as well.
    For next year, Jaydyn plans on wrestling more, returning to nationals and learning the folk style – the style used in high school.
    So, “Who said girls can’t wrestle?”
    Jaydyn’s black and pink singlet has those words on the back, asking her opponent that very question when they step in the ring with her. By the time they leave, they’ll know the answer.