Women wrestled in a pit of coleslaw at the Cabbage Patch in Samsula for cash prizes


Women wrestled in a pit of coleslaw Wednesday at the Cabbage Patch in Samsula for cash prizes, with another contest coming up Saturday

SAMSULA — She may not have formal training or experience, but Shannon Cook — affectionately known by friends and at the Cabbage Patch Bar as “Cookie” — is the boss of the bar’s wrestling ring.

Well, not a ring, but rather a pit — one that’s filled with 2,000 pounds of shredded cabbage and oil. In the past six contests in three years, no one has outdone Cookie. The Bike Week crowd cheers whenever the bikini clad, muscle-bound competitor walks up to the elevated pit.

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Every year since 1989, the Cabbage Patch shreds cabbage with a Bear Cat Chipper/Shredder, hooked up to a small Kubota tractor. The cabbage used to come from farms in Samsula, but with few farmers and even less cabbage remaining in recent years, bar owner Roger Luznar now buys the stuff from Holler & Green Farms in Bunnell. It’s ground up to make a large pit in which women of varying ages — wearing varying amounts of clothing — struggle against both each other and the slippery green stuff in a battle for the $500 top prize.

The 28-year-old Cookie hopes to make it seven victories after Saturday’s competition. The secret to her success:

“I do Crossfit at Crossfit 386 in Port Orange, and my strength definitely works in my favor,” she said. “I usually just try to play defense and do some leg sweeping.”

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Whatever her strategy, it clearly paid off, as Cookie defeated even wrestling coach and Crossfit enthusiast Katie Rineer. With quads that look equally as powerful — “these girls could go squat a pickup truck,” the emcee said a few times — Rineer put up a tough fight. Chunks of cabbage flew in every direction. In the end, both women were covered from head to toe, green chunks in their hair, ears and faces. Rineer even lost an earring. Crews had to sweep cabbage back into the pit, the women having strewn it all over the place.

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