Katie Brock wrestles stereotypes en route to 4 state titles
Katie Brock has never let anything stop her from reaching the top. With a career record of 113-2, she is now known all throughout the state for her skills on the mat.
High school girls wrestling has only been a Tennessee sanctioned sport for the last two years, but one girl has been dominating the sport for much longer.
Katie Brock joined the Sequatchie County Middle School wrestling team when she was just thirteen years old, where she started her career wrestling boys since there was no girls team.
"I started wrestling and went to wrestling practice my seventh grade year because my brother would come home and show me wrestling moves and I would always tell him I could do better. My parents said well if you're going to say it you have to prove it."
That's when Katie first fell in love with the sport, and her lucky green socks.
"I have a pair of socks I've worn for six years. They are lime green and pink and I would wear them to each match because my mom is legally blind."
But it was never easy for the Dunlap native to break into such a male dominated sport. From the beginning, Katie has had to overcome multiple obstacles, and criticism in order to compete.
"People didn't like that a girl was wrestling a guy. They thought it was very inappropriate, but you just have to look past it and look at it like I was just another wrestler."
It was obvious from the start that Katie wasn't just any other wrestler. She won her first middle school match 15-0. When Katie was in high school, she then competed against other female opponents, even though she still wrestled against boys during preseason.
"I wanted to prove that even though they said I couldn't do it, I could. And I wanted to make sure they knew that just because we are female or want to do a male sport we can do just as good or even better."
As a freshman, Brock became the first wrestler, male or female, from Sequatchie County High School to win a state championship. Three years later, she pinned her way through the state tournament to become a four-time Tennessee state champ, capturing more state championships than an other team or individual in school history.
Just recently she was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame after winning the Tricia Saunders High School Excellence Award. Her lucky socks can be seen in her own display in the Hall of Fame.
"Every sport if there's not many girls in it, there has to be a trailblazer somewhere" says Katie's mother, Marsha. "Somebody has to open the door for the future generation to actually be able to do it."
"To be from Dunlap, you didn't think that someone could go this far in a sport. Even if someone tries to get in your head you just have to realize you have to help motivate yourself because people will always be there to break you down. But you just have to push further and push harder to show that even though someone is there, you can do anything you set your mind to."