West View girl, 8, takes Pennsylvania wrestling title
Cadence Bronder wrestles against other girls only once a year at the Pennsylvania Wrestling Federation Girls State Championships, and she thinks training against boys gives her a slight upper hand.
The 8-year-old from West View took the state title in the intermediate level, 70-pound weight class last month. She took second place the previous year.
Bronder attributes much of her success to training against boys, including her 11-year old brother, Joshua, in the North Hills Wrestling Club.
“All the moves they teach you are cool, and I wrestle a lot of boys,” Cadence said. “I sometimes win and lose to them, and when I win, I just get really happy.”
Cadence took an interest in wrestling at 5 years old, when she and her parents, Matt and Heather Bronder, attended Joshua's practices. They were surprised and excited that she wanted to try wrestling.
Since then, it has been common for the two siblings to wrestle in practice and around the house against each other.
While there might be some discrepancy between them about how often Cadence beats her brother — she said she has beaten him a few times, and he said it never has happened — he agreed she is a tough opponent.
“When there aren't enough wrestlers at practice or if she needs help, we practice against each other,” Joshua said. “She could probably beat me if she was older.”
Eric Angle, North Hills' youth wrestling coach, said Cadence's dedication separates her from other wrestlers. Angle is a former amateur wrestler and the brother of Olympic gold-medal wrestler Kurt Angle.
“Yeah, I'd have to say she's my favorite, but that doesn't mean I'm easier on her because I'm as hard on her as anyone else” said Eric Angle, 46, of Pine Township. “She comes to every practice, which is more than I can say for everyone. She loves wrestling.”
Angle said Cadence wins half of her matches against boys.
“When she wins a match, I take a little extra pride in it because she tries really hard, and it pays off,” Angle said. “She doesn't look at anything as being down if she gets down early. She's wrestled many boys and done pretty well.”
She also is one of Angle's more coachable wrestlers, he said.
“I can show her a move one time, and she naturally picks it up,” Angle said. “She listens to what I'm saying and follows direction really well, so it's fun to be her coach and watch her learn.”
Shawn Annarelli is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.