Makayla Sozanski to be Coach Fitz’s first female wrestler

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Makayla Sozanski to be Coach Fitz’s first female wrestler

Junior Makaya Sozanski, one of Del Val's first female wrestlers, has a style all her own.

Junior Makaya Sozanski, one of Del Val's first female wrestlers, has a style all her own.

Makayla Sozanski

Junior Makaya Sozanski, one of Del Val's first female wrestlers, has a style all her own.

Makayla Sozanski

Makayla Sozanski

Junior Makaya Sozanski, one of Del Val's first female wrestlers, has a style all her own.

Clare Erwin, The Delphi Editor

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Junior Makayla Sozanski will be the first female wrestler to represent Del Val under head coach Andy Fitz.

Wrestling runs in the Sozanski family. From her uncle, who coaches at North Hunterdon High School, to her father, who wrestled all through his high school career, to her younger twin brothers (only one of whom still wrestles), Makayla is the most recent in a long lineage of wrestlers.

“My family, even my extended family, is so into the sport, so I have a lot of support from them which is really great,” Makayla says.

Throughout middle school, Makayla was very active, participating in gymnastics, volleyball, and basketball. She says she decided to wrestle to keep in shape and to keep moving.

My family, even my extended family, is so into the sport, so I have a lot of support from them which is really great.”

— Makayla Sozanski

Makayla currently practices at Fortify Wrestingling Club in Flemington. She says the majority of her knowledge and experience has come from Fortify’s head coach, and Del Val biology teacher, C.J. Inglin.

In terms of the challenges she will face, Makayla says, “My biggest challenge is getting used to moving in that way.” She is working towards not only improving personal strength and strategies, but also towards inspiring other girls to wrestle. “My goal is to get other girls to go out and do it, and to not be afraid to push [their] limits, and to work hard.”

Makayla explains that because of Del Val’s size, female wrestlers are a rarity. However, many larger schools in the area, such as North Hunterdon, have numerous girls who excel in the sport. “So many schools, especially in New Jersey, have girls [wrestling]. There’s so many girls doing it now that is shouldn’t be one of these things were we ‘break the boundaries.’”

So many schools, especially in New Jersey, have girls [wrestling]. There’s so many girls doing it now that is shouldn’t be one of these things were we ‘break the boundaries.’”

— Makayla Sozanski

To other girls who are considering pursuing wrestling, Makayla says, “Do not be afraid because you’re not going to be the only one.”

Coach Fitz is enthusiastic of Makayla’s choice, and he also wants to reach out to other girls who may be interested. “Wrestling is a very inclusive sport and Girls Wrestling is really taking off in NJ,” he said. “Last year, NJ had its first individual Girls state championship. In addition, many other local schools have a fair number of girls wrestling for them. We look forward to Makayla joining our team, and the door is open for any other female athlete to join the team.”