by Eric A Thomas
One of the fastest growing high school sports nationwide is girls wrestling. In 1994, only 804 competed — but by 2019, that number exceeded 21,000. Just four years prior, a local third-grader decided to join the ranks of grapplers nationwide. This past spring, this mighty competitor has been making her mark.
Alexis Seymour started her wrestling career through Jacksonville Area Wrestling (JAWS) in 2015 under the coaching of Brexton Hall and Josh Stewart. She wrestled with this local group through fifth grade and now wrestles on the team at Jacksonville High School. “Since starting at JHS, I have been having more opportunities to compete in my sport,” Seymour stated. “A girl who wrestles with Chatham High School introduced me to an organization, and I have had the opportunity to compete with them twice.”
The organization to which Seymour was referring is Charlie’s Angels, a part of Morris Fitness based out of Georgia. Being one of two female wrestlers at JHS, it is important for Seymour to look for extra opportunities to better herself at the sport. In April, she traveled to Iowa to compete with the Angels. “I competed in six matches at the Iowa duals, winning four and losing two. My performance in that competition landed me a bronze All-American ranking with AAU, American Athletic Union,” she remarked. With her great showing in April, she was invited to compete with the same team in June at the 2023 AAU Wrestling Scholastic Duals, held at Walt Disney World in Orlando.
The Charlie’s Angels team was made up of girls from Florida, Georgia and Illinois. There were 24 all-star teams wrestling in the girls’ division and the event took place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. “This was a national tournament with the best wrestlers in America there,” Seymour recalled. “There were lots of people competing in both girls and boys divisions. I was shocked to be asked.”
Seymour wrestled for three straight days in a total of 10 matches. Her individual record was 6-4, and her team placed 4th in the silver bracket. “I had to compete with some tough girls, and it was an overall amazing experience,” she commented.
Seymour has been asked to compete on the team for next year.
A huge part of why she was able to compete down in Florida is because of the support from JAWS, and coaches Brexton Hall and Josh Stewart. “I want to thank them for all their support in helping to make this happen,” Seymour concluded.
“I also want to thank my family for their support and for traveling with me to make sure I got where I needed to be. … My biggest supporters are most definitely my family. They don’t miss a single tournament and always make sure I have the best opportunities to succeed.”
Seymour will be a junior this fall at JHS, where she will not only continue her studies in preparation for college but also will continue her wrestling career, competing in the 120-pound division. Being an athlete in only one sport, she focuses all of her energy on wrestling. She plans on continuing wrestling career in college and would love to help grow the sport of women’s wrestling. Seymour’s ultimate goal is to become a coach in the sport.