TEANECK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey high school honored a student who made history.

Erin Emery from Teaneck High School is the first female to win a state championship in her weight class.

The state championship drought is over for Teaneck High School’s wrestling team – thanks to a girl.

Erin hard at work on the mats. (credit: CBS2)

This weekend, Erin Emery took home the big win in her wight class during the first-ever girls wrestling championship. Sixty female wrestlers competed.

“Names are immortalized on the wall. It’s a legend. Today, Erin becomes a legend in Teaneck,” said Erin’s coach Jim Nonas.

“I feel accomplished. So great… overwhelming joy, happiness,” Erin said.  “I remember just tearing up and going to my coach and just hugging him. And when the ref raised my hand he was like ‘You did  it, you’re the one.’ I was like ‘I did do it.'”

Teammates from her wrestling, soccer and softball teams gather in the gym as Erin’s name was added to the school’s wrestling wall of fame.

Before Erin, Bob Willman was the last name added – in 1967. Willman was there at the state championship to cheer Erin on.

“She’s used to wrestling the football players on other teams. There’s no way she’s going to lose,” said Nonas.

Erin’s teammates will tell you just how physically and mentally tough she is. She had to wrestle boys to make the team. After one meet, she was proudly deemed “The Beast of the Mat.”

“I wouldn’t be the wrestler I am today without her,” said teammate Joseph Tembo.

“When we wrestle other teams, they would be like ‘Oh that’s a girl.’ We would be like ‘Oh, that doesn’t matter. You’re going to see what she’s about right now.’ And she would shut people up,” said teammate Emilio Vasquez.

Erin Emery has been taking down guys and girls on the mat since she was six years old.

“To see my name actually up there, it’s crazy,” she said.

Now a senior, she leaves the door open for others, especially young women to follow in her footsteps.


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