Lady Kowboys part of inaugural class
By Rick Pedone
While Osceola’s powerhouse boys wrestling team garners most of the headlines during the winter, there are some pretty good female wrestlers at OHS as well.
Two of them recently signed scholarships to Life University, located in Marietta, Ga.
Rose Donaldson, a two-time state champion and three-time state qualifier, and Maria Diaz, a state runner-up and two-time state qualifier, signed their grants recently at the high school gym.
Life University Coach Dan Mathews made the trip to Kissimmee to welcome the athletes to his program.
“What impressed me was their work ethic, their willingness to get out there and really go after it,”
Donaldson said she took up wrestling almost by default.
“Yeah, I couldn’t make any of the other sports teams at Neptune Middle, so I tried wrestling,” she said, wearing a big grin. “I liked it right away. I think the most exciting thing I’ll remember is winning state.”
Diaz didn’t try the sport until she was a junior.
“I just wanted to try something different,” she said. “I had never played a sport before. The first time, I was dying after practice. The thing I’ll remember is the state semifinals this year, when I beat a girl who beat me the week before
at Cypress Creek.”
Both wrestlers persevered and developed into college-level talent.
Osceola Coach Jennifer Glover-Harmon, a former Lady Kowboys state champion and a member of three state championship teams, expects both wrestlers to excel.
“It’s awesome. It shows how much work they’ve done,” she said.
Glover-Harmon said the two wrestlers get good results, but by different methods.
“Rose, I can’t even describe her style. I call her a scrambler. She’ll get someone in a headlock and that’s it, she’ll get them down,” she said.
“Maria is a shooter. She’s one of the few girls you see who can pull off a double-leg takedown.”
Mathews said Donaldson and Diaz would be among 16 members of Life’s inaugural women’s wrestling class.
“We expect to be up to 32 by next year,” he said. “We’ll spend a lot of time on fundamentals and preparing them for competition in the WCWA, which is the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Assocation. Working with the women is a little different than the men in that the women tend to be more technical. They are less likely to rely on bull rushes and brute strength.”
Life University is a NAIA affiliate. Donaldson plans to be a physical therapist.
Diaz will study biology in preparation for medical school.