The Milwaukee Sentinel – November 15, 1923
Department Store Basketball Starts Climb To Strong Arm Fame.
BOSTON – (Special) – From a girls’ basketball team to the calcium is hardly the usual route, but the fact that it has brought fame to one who has traveled the route, must speak for its practicability and effectiveness.
And to retain all of the womanly qualities despite the strenuousness of a theatrical wheel and the strong arm stuff involved in being a wrestler is equality out of plumb with the general trend of affairs.
Miss Virginia Mercereau, not so very long ago a Wisconsin school girl who recently popped into Boston from the west in her quest for the world’s wrestling title, pleads guilty to the basketball, calcium, womanly qualities and other assets.
Miss Mercereau in private life is Marie Diderrich, daughter of William Diderrich, Jr., 300 South River street, Appleton Wis. She was at one time employed as a stenographer in a Milwaukee department store. She played with the store girls’ basketball team and later made the Milwaukee Five, coached by Al Segar.
Miss Mercereau has accomplished much here in Boston the last few weeks. She has fought her way up, at last, forcing Cora Livingston, holder of the woman’s mat title, to consent to a title bout. Her match with Hazel Kinnard here Thursday night, paves the way.
New Englanders, skeptical at the claims of this quiet unassuming Wisconsin girl, now appreciate her remarkable work. She reigns as a favorite and has considerable support.
“It is not necessary for every young woman to become a wrestler, but any one interested in physical development should take up that branch of sport,” said Miss Mercereau to the Milwaukee Sentinel correspondent.
“From my kid days at Appleton I have been fond of athletics and it was not so many years ago that I was playing forward on a Milwaukee store basketball team. I had the luck to make good and won a place with the Milwaukee Five, one of the fastest semi-pro teams in the west.
“Wrestling, a part of our training exercise, appealed to me, and I went in for it, eventually winning the western championship. It took a Stanley months to uncover a Livingston in Africa, but a Mercereau will need but a few minutes to accomplish the same right here in Boston.
“I’m going to take that world’s title back to good old “Milwaukee.”