As the father of 3 boys, I can't count the number of times I've said "We NEVER hit girls."  Well, apparently the parents of Iowa high-school sophomore Joel Northrup had the same conversation enough that he understood the importance of that practice.  And now that very belief has cost him. 

Northrup, a wrestler, was widely considered a favorite in his weight class until he forfeited his wrestling state tournament in the first round.  Northrup forfeited because he was paired up with Cassy Herkelman, one of the first GIRLS to qualify for the tournament.  Northrup made the following statement: "I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy and Megan and their  accomplishments. However, wrestling is a combat sport and it can get  violent at times. As a matter of conscience and my  faith I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl  in this manner. It is unfortunate that I have been placed in a  situation not seen in most other high school sports in Iowa."

Honestly, I applaude this kid and his parents for keeping violence out of the female gender.  I think it really takes courage to put your beliefs up front, even when it costs you state championships or any other reward.  To me, he's already the champion; he just didn't get the trophy.

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