The Register's girls wrestler of the Year is freshmna Aine Drury of Westminster. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

Girls wrestler of the year: Aine Drury, Westminster


As the only girl in the Westminster wrestling program, Aine Drury found herself in an unfamiliar situation.

The freshman competed in mostly boys tournaments to start the season due to transportation issues for the program.

“I had a long conversation with her dad,” Westminster coach Mike Provenzano recalled. “I said I can’t make any promises because I don’t have the staff to take her to every tournament.”

Drury made the best of the situation by dominating several lower level boys tournaments and compiling a 19-0 record.

She won her first girls tournament and continued her dominating performance into the postseason. She advanced to the finals of the CIF Regional qualifier, placed third at the CIF Individuals and reached the finals at the CIF State Tournament. She eventually finished second.

For her performance this season, Drury is the Register’s girls wrestler of the year.

“She’s a hard worker,” Provenzano said. “She’s here every day and never misses, she’s the consummate professional.”

She credits her matches against boys with helping prepare her for the end-of-the-season run for the girls season.

“The boys were a lot stronger, so strength and cardio-wise, I was better,” she said about the transition. “I wasn’t used to rolling and how flexible they were.”

Drury’s athletic background includes submission grappling, judo and jiu-jitsu.

“My dad wanted me to do it,” Drury said. “It was interesting once I got into it.”

Provenzano remembers a phone call from Drury’s dad that set everything into motion.

“Her dad said he just wanted her to learn how to wrestle,” Provenzano said. “He said in two weeks, you will not know she is in the room.

“I knew she was tough and she probably wouldn’t have a lot of problems wrestling with girls. Once she really learns how to wrestle, she will be scary, and I don’t see her being beat by anybody. Once she gets her take-down game and a few other front/head positions, she will be good.”

An important moment for her came at the CIF State tournament.

“I was super nervous because I didn’t know anything,” Drury said of the state tournament. “I was super confused because I didn’t know where to go, where to weigh-in. Some of the girls that I had met at CIF were guiding me through.”

She won her first three matches by fall and advanced to the finals with a decision victory.

Her goal for next year is simple.

“I want to win state,” she said.

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