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The City Journals

The Tall and the Small of New Highland High Athletes

Mar 10, 2016 10:38AM ● By Bryan Scott

By Natalie Mollinet | [email protected]

Sugar House - Making any team when getting into high school is quite the accomplishment. Highland High’s boys varsity basketball team put three new freshmen on their team, including 6-foot-3, 170-pound freshman Jackson Hawes. He may not be the tallest kid on the team, but he is for sure the tallest freshman. Jackson didn’t expect to make the roster, but he is really glad he did. 

“I thought I was just going to make sophomore, but when I got the chance to practice with varsity they saw something in me, and that was pretty cool to play with them,” Hawes said. 

Hawes is a broad-shouldered kid who most consider to be pretty tall for his age. He said he doesn’t get sick of people commenting on his height. 

“It’s pretty cool actually. I get that a lot you know, obviously,” Hawes said.

Even though he’s a freshman, he doesn’t feel like the other guys on the team treat him any different, and he gives a lot of credit to his coaches on how they coach the team. 

“Coach Boyce is always energetic and brings a lot of energy to the team, pumping us up before the games,” he said. 

Hawes not only plays for Highland’s basketball team but also plays for Highland’s football team. He considers basketball to be more his passion.

“I think basketball in college would be awesome. I’m going to go on an LDS mission after high school, but, you know, after that, if I could play college basketball I would take the opportunity,” he said. 

Hawes said Highland is looking like a pretty good team this year, beating most of the best teams in the division and may make it to state. State tournaments for high school basketball begin in early March. 

On the other end of the spectrum, Highland also has a new wrestler on their junior varsity team – a freshman named Abram Toronto.  

Toronto is actually 10 pounds under weight, sitting at 100 pounds and being 5-foot-2, but he still wins most of his meets. He did some wrestling before he came over to Highland, but said he has to work harder to beat kids who are bigger than him. 

 “I just try to be quicker than the people I wrestle,” he said.

Not only does Toronto practice with his team, he takes time at home to make sure he has all the skills he needs to take down the bigger competition. His mom got him a wrestling mat to practice on at home, and he does basic moves that he doesn’t need a partner for. 

Toronto is trying to gain the weight he needs to be in his weight class and admits that it’s hard to compete when you don’t have the weight advantage on your side. Although he’s under his weight class, he’s still winning most of his games and even made the junior varsity team. He also is a part of Highland’s boys lacrosse team, but he likes wrestling more. 

“Wrestling is way harder and more fun, so I like wrestling,” he said. 

Both athletes say their time at Highland so far has been positive and they’re excited to continue on in their sports through their high school career. They also want to help their teams win championships and, in general, help add something to their teams and school.