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Emily Frost

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Emily Frost

Member of the CDSWOY Class of 2023
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Written by Kyle Adams, The Daily Gazette

Emily Frost, who began wrestling at Tamarac in seventh grade, has heard many stereotypes over the years, saying wrestling is ‘for boys.’

While she competed mostly against male opponents during the school season, she’s always maintained the same mentality on those negative voices — none of it mattered. One voice, who Frost — one of 10 Capital District Sports Women of the Year scholastic honorees for 2023 — could always rely on for support, was that of Kevin Retell, a coach at Tamarac and father of teammate Ragan Retell.

“When I first started, my first day on the team, my main supporter was coach Retell,” Frost said. “He always told me I could do anything and could be as good as those boys. They learned that whatever they said, it didn’t mean anything. I could accomplish whatever I wanted to.”

The recent Tamarac graduate will head to the University of Iowa next fall.

“Her hard work, determination and perseverance have earned her a full Division 1 women’s wrestling scholarship,” Tamarac athletic director Thomas Murley wrote in a recommendation letter nominating Frost as a CDSWOY honoree. “[Emily’s] the first female wrestler from New York ever to do so.”

“It just means a lot to me,” Frost said of being a CDSWOY recipient, “that the things I’m doing are being recognized in such a prestigious way.”

The journey to that scholarship provided some experiences Frost wouldn’t trade for anything. Shortly after joining the team at Tamarac, Frost was introduced to Curby Training Center, a wrestling club in Troy. It’s a good bet that if Frost isn’t at home or at school, she’s probably at Curby.

Curby has not only provided Frost an environment where she’s surrounded by many other female wrestlers – including fellow 2023 CDSWOY honoree Zoey Lints – but also the opportunity to grow as a leader. Frost’s passion has grown from competing herself to wanting help create a path for other girls, like her.

“When I started, there really weren’t that many girls in the area who wrestled,” said Frost, who helps lead Curby’s youth program. “Especially in the last year, a lot of younger girls have started. When parents come up to me and say their daughter started wrestling because they saw me doing it, that’s honestly crazy to me. I just hope they can get out of wrestling what I’ve been able to get out of it.”

Curby’s owner, Joe Uccellini, has said he’s envisioned Frost taking over his club one day.

“I’ve always wanted to have my own club,” Frost said. “I can’t see myself having another club that isn’t Curby.”
During her senior season, Frost passed up the opportunity to compete at the first-ever NYSPHSAA girls’ wrestling championships, instead staying with the boys’ team at the Ken Baker Classic.

“It was extremely hard for me because since I started wrestling I’ve dreamed of competing at either girls’ states or just states in general,” Frost said. “Honestly, it was more important to me to help my team, wherever they needed me.”

Frost developed a few reputations over her four-year varsity career, including being nearly impossible to pin — something that hasn’t happened since her freshman year. She is the first one cheering on her teammates, including modified and junior varsity wrestlers. She’s even someone teammates turn to for help with homework.

Frost concluded her high school career at the Section 2 Division 2 state qualifiers, after finishing fourth in the Class C tournament. She went 26-6 against boys, with 18 pins. Those around her see no limit to what she can accomplish.

“Emily’s work ethic and relentless pursuit of her goals are unmatched,” wrote Tamarac wrestling coach Erick Roadcap. “Emily has set her sights on becoming an Olympic champion, and her commitment to this goal is unwavering.”

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