Sara McLaughlin: Scituate’s Very Own National Wrestling Champion


Grace McNamara, Staff Writer

Scituate High School freshman Sara McLaughlin is making history. Beginning in the 8th grade, McLaughlin was eligible to join the SHS varsity wrestling team and has excelled in the sport ever since. Since joining the team, she has been recognized as a two-time state champion. Most recently, McLaughlin traveled to Omaha, Nebraska, to fight for a national title representing Riptide Wrestling Club. She made her mark and victoriously claimed 1st place in her division: 16u 112 lb. weight class. McLaughlin is a reigning national champion. 

McLaughlin began wrestling at 10-years-old. Her love of the sport began when she would watch her older brother wrestle at his practices. Her father wrestled in high school and influenced McLaughlin’s brother to begin wrestling at a young age. McLaughlin recalled, “I saw a girl at my brother’s practices who didn’t really have a partner and looked a little lonely. She was also the only girl. I decided that I was going to join just to befriend her, and I really have loved the sport ever since.”

When questioned about how it feels being the only girl participant on the varsity wrestling team, McLaughlin admitted, “When I first joined last year it was definitely really scary because I didn’t really know any of the guys, and I was scared of being the only girl. After a couple of weeks, I realized that no one cared or thought differently about me. They saw me as just another person on the team. After being one of the only girls at my off-season practices over the summer and coming back to Scituate, I didn’t really care. They don’t treat me differently, so why should I?”

One of McLaughin’s most memorable moments wrestling at the high school was during one of her matches when she fought against a boy with a big ego and pinned him down in under a minute. After she pinned him, he slapped the mat in frustration and muttered, “I can’t believe I just lost to a girl.” McLaughlin stated, “That moment really stuck with me, but the best part is after the match, his teammates came over and praised me for beating him and keeping his ego in check.” 

One of the most influential coaches in McLaughlin’s life has been her SHS and Riptide Wrestling Club coach, Kevin King. King works with McLaughlin both in-season and during the off-season. His training tactics and advice prepare her for success in all of her matches. Since King trains McLaughlin year-round, McLaughlin mentioned, “He really knows my style and what I need to improve on.”

McLaughlin praises the support she receives from her teammates, saying said she will forever remember the time her teammates drove over an hour to the state tournament and painted their nails red to match hers. McLaughlin commented, “They supported me so much throughout the whole tournament, and that is something that I will never forget.”

McLaughlin’s future is bright. Despite whether or not she pursues wrestling in college, McLaughlin’s drive and determination to defy all odds make her a true inspiration for student-athletes. Proving that girls have the same capabilities as boys, McLaughlin will undoubtedly continue to dominate the Patriot League and make history at Scituate High School.