FA Collegiate Scholar Takes Down Stereotypes

FA Scholar wins Queen of the East title



Foundation Academy Collegiate is celebrating sophomore Princessstorm Woody for winning her weight class to take the esteemed "Queen of the East" title in a selective tournament for the best female wrestlers in Northeast New Jersey.

Wrestling traditionally has been a boys sport. But Princess has been wrestling for six years. Although wrestling is not one of the team sports offered at FA Collegiate, scholars are able to compete in sports offered by Trenton Public Schools or athletics clubs, said FA Athletic Director Chris Torino.

"I have been proud of Princessstorm from the moment I met her," Coach Torino said. "To see her reap the the rewards of her hard work, and her personal success, is uplifting."

In her first visit to the Queen tournament, Princess had to battle back from an opening takedown. She turned the tables, adding a final takedown of her own with just 31 seconds left to wrestle -- and recorded a pin at 5:30 to win. See match video

"We are so proud of Princess -- for her skill and also for her perseverance and confidence," said FA CEO Sheria McRae. "Her success in athletics and academics is on purpose. She is proof that hard work does equal success."

Princess says she first got interested in wrestling "because I thought it was WWE" -- but she quickly fell in love with sport. She trains year round, and competes in tournaments throughout New Jersey, as well as in other states and even outside the US.

Her training schedule includes daily three-hour practices, plus a two-and-a-half hour practice twice a week with her club team. She currently competes with Trenton Central High School, Misfits Girls Wrestling, and
Immortals Wrestling Club.

Princess is just as dedicated to her school work. "I use the same work ethic from wrestling in my academics,' she said. "It's the relentless pursuit of achieving the highest grades I can."

Coach Torino agrees. "I have been able to see firsthand her dedication in both her academics and athletics," he said. "She is extremely humble and always is looking to do better in school and on the mat."

Wrestling is growing in popularity among FA scholars. EJ Nemeth, who teaches physical education K-8 at FA, is also head wrestling coach at Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville. Recently, he teamed up with Coach Torino  and the Bethea family of Trenton to enable scholars in grades 3-8 to participate in the Trenton Youth Wrestling program.

More girls should pursue wrestling, Princess said. "By making the commitment to the fastest growing sport, you can use wrestling to prepare to overcome any and all obstacles you may face in life."

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Michelle Ruess