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The Pioneers of Idaho Girls Prep Wrestling: Alyssa Randles, Coeur d'Alene
Randles is the latest star in a long line of prep wrestling excellence in her family
Published: 8/10/2022 3:44:11 PM
Al Fontes
Contributing Writer
 

ORDER GAME PHOTOS

The sport of wrestling has been a major part of the Randles family in Northern Idaho for several decades, and to date, they have established themselves among the most accomplished wrestling families in the Gem State.

It all began with Mike Randles, who for just over two decades taught English and coached at Sandpoint High School in the panhandle (Asst. Coach 1993-‘97/Head Coach 1997-’16). During his coaching tenure at Sandpoint, he was instrumental in creating a wrestling culture that produced six State Championship teams (1994, ’95, ’96, ’01, ’02, ’03), two nationally ranked teams, twenty-five individual State Champions, and ninety-five state placers overall.

Additionally, Mike coached several national caliber athletes, including the Lawrence Brothers, Brett (Class of ’96) and Jared (Class of ’98), and Jake Rosholt (Class of ’01), each Blue Chip prep wrestlers that earned a combined eleven Idaho State titles, four NCAA titles, and nine All-American honors overall at the division I collegiate level. In 2019, Mike was inducted into the Idaho Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall-of-Fame for his lifetime service to wrestling.

 Presently, Mike is the Principal at Coeur d’Alene (CDA) High School, and in addition to his administrative responsibilities, he has long been involved in the growth and development of his three children’s wrestling careers. For the past decade, Casey, Nolan, and Alyssa have truly set their mark in Idaho wrestling history and as of this writing, their journey in the sport continues!

 Casey, a 2017 graduate at CDA was a 3x Idaho State Champion (2 – Sandpoint/1 – CDA), 2x All-American, recipient of the Dave Schultz Excellence Award, and more recently capped his collegiate career at Grand View University in Iowa with two NAIA All-American honors and a national title in 2022. Nolan, a 2021 graduate was CDA’s first 4x state placer (2x finalist) and is currently competing for Southern Oregon University in Ashland.

 The youngest of the siblings is Alyssa, a senior at CDA, an exceptional student, and currently ranked #5 among the top 127 pound wrestlers in the national poles (USA Wrestling rankings – July 2022). A true Pioneer of girl’s wrestling in Idaho, Alyssa has been involved in the sport in some form or another since an early age, but didn’t begin competing until middle school. Considering that her father and brothers are actively involved in wrestling, it was almost inevitable that she would at least give wrestling a try. That she did! Early on in her wrestling journey, Alyssa experienced success at several age group state and regional competitions, earning multiple medals and individual titles in the process.

 

“Alyssa truly loves the sport of wrestling and very is coachable. She is not afraid of hard work, commitment, and is willing to do whatever is necessary to get better.”

 

  • Jeff Moffat, Coeur d’ Alene Head Coach

 

 As Alyssa enters her final year in high school, girl’s wrestling in the Gem State is still in its infancy, but with recent efforts to increase awareness and growth at the grassroots level is showing a gradual increase among high school participants.

For example, in 2019, the first “unofficial” State Championships were held at Pocatello High School and had 60 participants. The following season, the numbers rose to 112 and in 2021 there were 130 participants representing 49 schools statewide. As of 2022, the numbers continue to move in an upward trajectory and have increased to 228 and climbing.

During this duration, Alyssa has been among the leaders in the growth and popularity of girl’s wrestling in Idaho and has set a precedent for future girls to inspire to achieve. Since her freshman season, Alyssa has won multiple state freestyle and Greco-Roman titles, three Rollie Lane Invitational titles, three Idaho Prep State titles, and has earned All-American honors at the Reno Tournament of Champions, US Open and the prestigious Fargo Nationals twice.

 Altogether, Alyssa has had an exceptional academic and athletic experience at CDA and continues to strive for academic and wrestling excellence. Having one more year at CDA, Alyssa is in position to earn a rare fourth Idaho State title (Lita Cruz of Minico became the first in 2022) and has goals of adding to her four All-American honors by winning an individual Fargo title and to continue her wrestling career at the collegiate and International/Olympic levels.

With lifelong examples given to her by her parents and older brothers, Casey and Nolan, her dedication both on and off the mat is a reflection of her commitment for continuous improvement. According to Brian Owen, Director of the Inland Northwest Regional Training Center, “Alyssa is one of the most successful wrestlers in the state of Idaho. She has earned everything she has worked for…Never missing a practice, doing what is necessary to achieve her goals, and setting a tempo for all to follow.”

I concur with coaches Brian Owen and Jeff Moffat’s assessment of Alyssa.  It has been my observation that Alyssa has a strong wrestling aptitude and is among the top prep wrestlers in the country in the girl’s division, both on and off the mat. She is a true Pioneer of Idaho girl’s prep wrestling and through her actions is demonstrating to future generations that with hard work, commitment, and sacrifice, it is possible to reach the highest levels possible in the state of Idaho.

 As of 2022, girl’s wrestling remains the fastest growing sport at the high school level in the United States and at the international level has produced many highly regarded World and Olympic wrestlers for age group and high school level girls to aspire to become someday. With the grassroots level growing each year in Idaho, it will become increasingly important for today’s girls competing to remain in the sport beyond their competitive days and give back by coaching, volunteering, and being role models for the future generations in the sport. According to Alyssa, she has expressed an interest in coaching someday and giving back to the sport, which I highly encourage her to explore opportunities in the years to come.

 I had the opportunity to do a Q&A interview with Alyssa and am impressed with her knowledge of wrestling, academic focus, and overall outlook in life.

 

Q&A INTERVIEW WITH COEUR D’ALENES ALYSSA RANDLES

 

How long have you been involved with the sport of wrestling?

RANDLES –  I’ve been around wrestling ever since I can remember. From watching my brothers compete to admiring my Dad’s coaching. However, I didn’t start competing and practicing till middle school.

 

Who introduced wrestling to you?

RANDLES – With my Dad always coaching and my brothers constantly being involved, I was introduced from a very young age.  

 

What life lessons have you learned from wrestling?

RANDLES – To put full effort into everything I do in life.

 

Who inspired you to be where you are today?

RANDLES –  I'm inspired by my Dad. He encourages me to always put my heart into what I do and to have fun.

 

What are your academic goals at Coeur d’ Alene High School?

 RANDLES – My goals for my senior year academics are to keep above B’s in my dual credit classes and above A’s in my high school classes.

 

What hobbies do you enjoy?

 RANDLES – I enjoy reading, fishing, and outdoor activities.

 

Who is your favorite college or Olympic level wrestler?

 RANDLES –  My favorite college wrestler is Yianni Diakomihalis and my favorite Olympic level athlete is Kayla Miracle.

 

What are your short and long term goals entering your senior season at CDA?

 RANDLES – My short term goals for the upcoming season at CDA are to not miss a school or club practice. My long term goals are winning state, Rollie, and Reno TOC. Other long term goals outside of school are to make a World Team and secure a Fargo title.

 

Do you have ambitions to compete at the collegiate or Olympic levels?

 RANDLES –  Yes, I’m currently beginning to look at schools for my collegiate career and have goals to someday compete at the Olympic/International level.

 

Do you plan to coach or be involved with the sport of wrestling in some form or capacity in the future?

 RANDLES –  Yes, I want to help the next generations surpass all the success my generation has had.

 

Girl’s wrestling is the fastest growing high school sport in the United States. What advice would you give a young girl showing interest in the sport?

 RANDLES – I would say that wrestling is the best life lesson you can learn. It can also give you a purpose and a chance at something bigger than yourself. It’s made me into who I am.

 

If provided the opportunity to make an impact to girl’s wrestling at the grassroots level, what would you do to improve opportunities and increase participation levels?

 RANDLES –  I would make sure that there are more female role models involved in the practice room. Knowing that you're not alone and seeing a familiar face goes a long way. I believe more female athletes should be involved with coaching and volunteering.

 

ALYSSA RANDLES’ ACADEMIC AND ATHLETIC PROFILE

 

SCHOOL: Coeur d’ Alene High School

GRADE: 12 (Class of 2023)

WEIGHT: 127

CLUB: Inland Northwest Regional Training Center (INTC)

NATIONAL RANKING: #5 at 127s (USA Wrestling – July, 1, 2022)

ACADEMIC ACCOLADES

  • 3.4 GPA (college prep courses)
  • Recipient of multiple Honor Roll honors

WRESTLING ACCOLADES

  • 3x Idaho State Champion, 2020 – ’22
  • Idaho District I-II Champion, ‘22
  • 2x Junior Fargo All-American, 2021-’22
  • US Open Championships – 3rd Place, ‘22
  • Reno Tournament of Champions All-American ‘21
  • Cadet Freestyle All-American, ‘21
  • 3x Rollie Lane Invitational Champion, ’20, ’21*OW, ‘22
  • 2x Idaho Freestyle State Champion, ’20, ‘22
  • 2x Idaho Greco-Roman State Champion, ’20, ‘22
  • USA Western States Middle School Champion ‘19
  • Western Regionals – 2nd Place ‘19
  • Idaho Middle School State Champion ’18




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