Laylah Yoho Takes 3rd at National Wrestling Tourney | News, Sports, Jobs

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Local 10-year-old Laylah Yoho recently finished third at the 25th Annual Reno Worlds Open Wrreslting Tournament in Reno, Nevada.

BENWOOD — Never dare your sister, especially your twin sister.

That’s exactly how 10-year-old Laylah Yoho got her wrestling career started a year-and-a-half ago.

“My brother (T.J.) told me I couldn’t do it, so I had to show him I could,” Yoho said recently inside Bruisers Wrestling Club where she trains with members of the Valkyrie girls team.

Boy did she ever prove him wrong as she recently placed third at the 25th annual Reno Worlds Open Wrestling Tournament inside the Reno Livestock Events Center in Reno, Nev., in the 9U girls’ 65-pound weight class.

“It feels really good,” she admitted. “Wrestling teaches you how to defend yourself.”

According to her coach, Chris Ward, the fourth-grade student at Washington Lands Elementary School won her first three matches all by pin to reach the championship finals before she lost.

“They wrestle for a ‘true’ second-place so she wrestled the girl who finished third and lost that one, as well,” Ward explained.

Yoho competed against girls from five different states, including the No. 1-ranked girl from California whom she lost to in her last match, 4-0, according to Ward.

She also wrestled girls from Washington, Nevada, Utah and Oklahoma.

“There were 18 girls in her bracket and she was the only one from the East Coast. The closest was Illinois,” he noted.

“She’s been outstanding wrestling mostly against boys. When we get her against girls, which isn’t often around here due to the lack of competition, she’s lights-out,” Ward added. “We wanted to go to Reno against some national competition to see if she really is the real deal. She proved she is by placing third.”

Yoho is also a West Virginia Jr. State Champion at 70 pounds. She won that title in February at the Elite Sports Center in Parkersburg.

“Laylah is truly our team leader for Team Valkryie. All the little girls look up to her and she plays the big sister role very well,” he added. “She also has a great attitude towards the sport. She actually yelled at me once after one of her wins because I celebrated. She thought I might have hurt the other girls feelings. She’s definitely a class act.”

Ward said her goals are pretty big, but it’s going to exciting watching her try and accomplish them.

“She has big goals, especially with West Virginia close to adding girls wrestling. Hopefully, by the time she gets to middle school and high school, she will be one of the most accomplished wrestlers to come through Marshall County,” he said.

When asked what her goal is, she didn’t hesitate in saying “I want to make the Olympics.”

A little lofty, perhaps, but attainable with hard work and determination, and maybe even a dare.

Laylah is the daughter of Christina and Timothy Yoho.

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