When she’s wrestling, Karrah Smith likes to be in control. During matches the Granite Falls senior is usually in attack mode, looking for the perfect time to strike and gain the upper hand.
“She wants to claim the circle as her own,” Tigers coach Chris Jenkins said. “She’s well-rounded, but she’s an offensive wrestler. She’s very driven. There are a lot of people that can do the same moves she can do, but her drive makes her successful.”
Smith has used a similar mentality to overcome personal challenges in her life.
“(Wrestling) has taught me to never give up, no matter how hard things get,” said Smith, who placed sixth at Mat Classic last year in the Class 2A 145-pound class. “It’s taught me how to push through obstacles in my life and create a mindset that’s made me a better person.”
Here are five things to know about Smith:
1 Her brother has been a big influence on her wrestling career. Smith started wrestling when she was in the seventh grade, following the example of her older brother, Tristan Daniels, who wrestled at Granite Falls for two years before moving to Idaho. “He’s in the Navy now, stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. I send him my wrestling videos, and he gives me helpful advice,” Smith said. “He’s the person I’m closest to in my family, and it’s cool to have him be there for me.”
2 She moved to Idaho after last wrestling season, but returned to Granite Falls in November. “I was sent there to live for personal family reasons,” she said. “I was nervous because there’s no girls wrestling in Idaho. But I turned 18 on Nov. 15, and on that day I took a plane here and (rejoined) the wrestling team, only three days late. I’m now living with one of my best friends. I’m ecstatic (to be back). Wrestling is my outlet. I haven’t had the easiest life and wrestling helps my mindset.”
3 She wants to pursue a career as a special-education teacher or social worker. “My sophomore year I joined a (school) club called the Hero’s Club, a program that helps to get special-needs students more involved in school events,” she said. “Last year and this year I’ve been a teacher’s assistant for a special-needs class. I love being around the kids. I love the environment, it makes me so happy. I’ll probably major in special education and minor in sociology.”
4 She’s a student journalist. She currently serves as a reporter for the Tiger Times, Granite Falls High School’s student newspaper. “In the next issue I’ll have a wrestling story and a profile on a special-needs student,” she said. “I like talking to people, so interviewing is fun to me. I like to come up with questions and learn about people.”
5 She loves to hike. “I like going on adventures and finding new places,” she said. “I hiked a lot of different places in Idaho, and I’ve gone to a lot of places here. Mount Pilchuck is one of my favorites.”