Dunsmuir High School sophomore Tayler Shuler, the first female wrestler in school history, is now the first female to win a match for the Tigers.

Shuler won Dec. 10 at the Modoc Classic in Alturas, defeating a male opponent she lost to by one point the day before.

“She really wanted it bad,” said Robert Wallace, head coach for both the Dunsmuir and Mount Shasta high school teams. “She knew she could beat him.”

The win earned Shuler a third place finish in the 158 JV division.

Dunsmuir sophomore CJ Palmer, wrestling at the varsity level, won 2 matches and lost 2 at Modoc to place 6th, while sophomore Ryan Edwards went 2-0 to place first in the JV tournament’s 170 division, and sophomore Trent Johnson placed third in JVs.

For Mount Shasta at the varsity level in Alturas, sophomore Jonathan VanDeWalker won 2 and lost 2, and sophomore Wyatt Zanni won 1.

Asher Funk of Mount Shasta placed second in the 158 division at the JV level.

Tayler Shuler came close to winning her duals match the first day of the Modoc tournament, according to Wallace, but lost because of a two-point takedown near the end.

“It was a tough loss,” said Wallace.

She wrestled the same opponent the next day for 3rd-4th place, and it was close again.

Shuler was trailing 3-2 in the last round when Wallace said he asked her if she thought she could make an escape. She said she could, then did to tie the score at 3-3 and send the match into sudden victory overtime -- first wrestler to score a point wins.

Wallace said he suggested that she sprawl the next time her opponent went for her legs. Shuler again took her coach’s advice, used the sprawl technique, pushed her opponent’s head down, and got a front head lock for two points and the win.

“It was exciting for her to get a third place medal,” Wallace said.

He said Tayler was the stat keeper for last year’s wrestling team, when her brother Justin competed for the Tigers. This year she decided to give the sport a try.

Wallace cited national statistics that show the number of female high school wrestlers has risen from between 500 and 1,000 in 1980 to more than 8,000 now. In some states, like Texas and Hawaii, they now have all-girls teams, he said.

“It’s tough,” Wallace said of girls wrestling against guys. “Strength is a big factor. It takes a lot of guts for girls to do it; they have to be tough.”

Next up for the Dunsmuir and Mount Shasta wrestlers is a match at West Valley in Cottonwood Dec. 30.