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2024 Senior Awards Ceremony
2024 Senior Awards Ceremony
Marializ Diaz June 7, 2024

Waterford High School’s 2024 Senior Awards Ceremony was held on Tuesday, June 4th.  The ceremony gave honor to many...

Camille Cadrello meeting her roommate for the first time after talking online.
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As the school year comes to an end, the 2024 Waterford seniors are getting ready to graduate and move on. In college,...

Michael Ellis: The Man, The Myth, The Legend
Michael Ellis: The Man, The Myth, The Legend
Saeeda Samed, Author • June 4, 2024

Inside the third floor computer room at Waterford High School resides veteran teacher Michael Ellis. This year marks Mr....

Profile: Leigha Griswold

Profile%3A+Leigha+Griswold

When thinking of a boxer, people’s first thought probably wouldn’t be a 15 year old girl, but Leigha Griswold defies stereotypes every day. 

 

Griswold started boxing at Whaling City Athletic Club in New London in spring of 2018, in 4th grade. After doing football for six years, her old coach suggested to her dad that she try boxing. She started taking a class once a week.  “Every Saturday my dad would just wake me up for it, and I would hate him every day, and then I would go and just have so much fun there.” 

 

Since she loved it so much, she started going during the week, which soon led to her now training four hours a day/ five days a week gym training. 

 

Griswold says her dad is definitely the person who has helped most in her boxing career: “He drives me everywhere, he pays for everything, he researches stuff, he’s close with my coaches, he’s like my manager.” 

 

Griswold says boxing has helped a lot with her resilience. She says it has helped her come back from being “punched in the face” in everyday life because she has to physically come back from getting punched in the boxing gym. 

 

Her first fight ever took place on October 30, 2021, at her home gym. She won by unanimous decision. 

 

After almost nine months without a fight, she had a knockout 30 seconds into the second round on June 11, 2022, against a boxer who was nine years older than her. An injury of her lower back led to a three month recovery process, which was supposed to be four  weeks, but Leigha continued to train regardless, lengthening the injury. 

 

Once recovered enough to fight, she fought again April 15, 2023 in Danbury. She says, “That was scary because that was my first fight ever not at my home gym, and I knew I would’ve had a disadvantage if it was a close fight, but I won that one too.” 

 

Leigha described her most recent fight this past summer as, “absolutely crazy” and the most serious she’s ever taken boxing. To prepare, she would often go to the gym in the morning and evening. In addition, she saw a nutritionist and went on an intense diet in order to ensure she would perform her best. She says, “I couldn’t sleep for like 2 weeks before because I was so nervous.” After she won the fight, her record became 4-0 and she got a belt. 

 

Leigha’s twin sister Taylor said one of the moments that made her most proud was when Leigha won the belt. Taylor says, “She put so much pressure on herself to get the belt, and then she won, and when she got it, I was just so happy for her and she finally reached her goal as a boxer.” 

 

With an undefeated record of 4-0, Griswold continues to train.

 

Although Leigha has had a lot of success in her career, there were many struggles she dealt with. When she first started boxing, she had two  coaches, both female. They both left her gym at around the same time, leaving her with no coach. She said she had to coach herself for about a year and a half. She now has male coaches, which is a much different dynamic considering how much boxing is a male-dominated sport, because she cannot relate to her coaches as much. 

 

Leigha is looking to make boxing into a career, but that comes with commitment and a lot of sacrifice. She says she does not have much of a social life like a normal teenage girl does: “Normal teenage girl things, like you go to football games, you do homework, you hang out with friends, you go to the mall, you go get coffee on a random Tuesday after school, I can’t do that. People who want to be doctors don’t skip school, so since I want to be a boxer why would I skip the gym.” 

 

Regardless of all of the struggles, hard work, and bloody noses, Leigha truly loves boxing and it is always her #1 priority. 

 

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About the Contributor
Lauren Piotrowski
Lauren Piotrowski, Sports Editor
Lauren Piotrowski is a sophomore at Waterford High School. This is her first year taking journalism. She has lived in Waterford her entire life. She enjoys working out and running track, and is a member of both the indoor and outdoor track teams. Outside of school she likes going to the beach, shop, and hang out with friends. Her goals for this school year are to go to States for track and positively contribute to journalism.
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  • Z

    Zachary AmantiMar 8, 2024 at 10:00 am

    Agreed. I started going to the gym in 2020 before the covid and once I first saw her dominating in not just in her first fight, but in sparring as well. Once she told me she use to do football as well, I said to her she’s got talent! ✊

    Reply
  • M

    MonteMar 2, 2024 at 6:54 am

    Very nice article. Keep up the good work! You should be proud of your accomplishments!

    Reply