When Music Meets Muscle

Senior Riley Patton makes history as the first Troy High School female to qualify for States in wrestling. 

Thirty seconds. That was how long Riley Patton, first-year wrestler, would need to hold out to win her match. Patton walked into her qualifying meet a few points ahead of her opposition, but the results could make or break her chances for the state competition. 

“[It] was my blood round,” Patton explained. “If I won, I was moving on in the season and if I lost, I was done. That was the end of my wrestling season.”

On Feb. 19, Patton made Troy High School history as the first female wrestler from the school to qualify for Wrestling State Finals. By doing so, Patton also became the first female wrestler to complete a full season.

Currently, Patton makes up the entirety of female participation in wrestling at Troy High School. “It’s hard as a girl wrestler to earn your place on the team,” Patton shared. “I was constantly competing against myself because I was setting the standard.”

Patton has been training her younger sister to wrestle, much to the younger’s exasperation. Tenacity, the wrestler argues, is half the battle.  Experience is another, she laments, commenting on her lack of a wrestling past: “I’ve done tournaments and stuff but all the girls that made it to State, you walk in there and you see everyone knowing you’re not on their level. Knowing that they’re better than you. I put in a lot of work just this season but they’ve been wrestling their entire lives.”

Aside from the sport, Patton harbors a passion for music.  Using the recording studio at Troy High School, she’s been able to create recordings of her songs. Patton will be attending Albion College with a music scholarship, where she hopes to continue her wrestling career, in the fall.  

To the future female wrestlers of Troy High School, Patton hopes that they, too, will qualify. “We have these boards in the wrestling room and they have all the names of the state qualifiers, placers, the years the team has won Districts and Regionals. Get yourself up there. Put yourself up on the board. “ She adds, “I know I’m the first but I don’t want to be the last.”