The folks who work in the Owego Elementary School main office playfully refer to her as their bodyguard. She’s a gallon of tough poured into a pint container. She’s a third-grader in Kristen Felice’s class.
Lately, though, RaeAnn (the second A is capitalized – and she can capitalize whatever letters she wants!) is seeing success in a singlet. Yeah, “she got game” as a grappler.
This little girl has been wrestling the last three years for Owego Peewee Wrestling Club. Over the past year or so she’s also connected with the Tioga Lady Tigers, an all-girls wrestling crew. So, she wrestles girls, yes. But she’ll mix it up with the boys, too. And she’ll win, either way.
In March 2016, RaeAnn won her first NYWAY (New York Wrestling Association for Youth) state championship in the Girls G1 (52-56 pounds) bracket. A year later, she took her second such title, this one a year bigger and tougher (60-65 pound category).
In February this year, she placed second in the USA-W State Championships, held locally in Johnson City. And earlier this month, RaeAnn traveled to Battle Creek, Michigan, and placed fifth in the girls “under 58 pounds” class of the NUWAY (National United Wrestling Association for Youth) National Championships.
“She competed against girls from Michigan, North Carolina, Illinois and Kentucky, and a few others states,” said Stephanie Craft, RaeAnn’s mom, who works as an aide at OES. “She also received All-American Wrestler status that same weekend.”
Her record this season was 44-26, giving her 96 career victories, to date. Her coaches are Budd Craft (also known to RaeAnn as Daddy); Caleb Monell (Owego Peewee Wrestling Club); and, A.J. Sindoni (and again, Dad) when she’s geared up for the Lady Tigers.
The mat isn’t the only place you’ll find this powder keg. She also plays youth football (Owego Junior Football League), softball, and she’s recently added lacrosse to her resume.
RaeAnn lives in Owego with her folks, and her younger brother Lynkon (second grade at OES).