Grizzlies wrestlers have success
Mar 13, 2018 04:40PM
By Greg James
Jazmin Herrera is one of 22 seniors honored on senior night for the Copper Hills wrestling team. (Greg James/City Journals)
The Copper Hills High School wrestling team and its coaches have learned throughout the season that the hard work they put in leads to positive results.
“We just want to have fun,” Grizzly head coach Jeff Humphreys said. “That is what it is all about. We had 14 wrestlers qualify for state. We have a few you will want to watch out for.”
The team will graduate 22 seniors at the end of this school year. It had wrestlers with experience and had several beginners, but females Alyssa Pace and senior Jazmin Herrera impacted their team for good.
“We treat them (Herrera and Pace) like any of our other wrestlers,” Humphreys said. “They are part of our team, and they know it coming in. We incorporate them in our team, and they love it.”
Herrera started wrestling her freshman year. She wrestled just like her sister (Jessica) did for four years.
“I mostly wanted to be better than my sister,” Herrera said. “It sounds weird, but I tired of other sports with the girls, but wrestling was where I felt the best. Wrestling was hard, but then my coaches helped me, and I started taking down kids. They helped me reach my potential.”
Herrera said girls wrestling is getting more popular. She won the all-girl division state championship last season. This year she was selected to participate in the all-star tournament mid-season at Utah Valley University.
Herrera will defend her state championship Feb. 17 in the all-girls state championship (after press deadline).
“Alyssa is a coach’s daughter and has only been wrestling for a year,” Humphreys said. “She will be back for us. They are both part of our team and wrestling family.”
The Grizzlies placed sixth in the 6A divisional held at West Jordan High School Feb. 1–2. The top eight wrestlers in each weight class qualified for the state wrestling tournament Feb. 7–8 at Utah Valley University.
Copper Hills had 14 wrestlers at the state tournament. Seniors Bryson Reed, Ryan Watanabe, Mitchell Reese, Dakota Larsen, Josh Henderson, Ryan Johnson,and David Munsey were among those wrestlers.
“Our lower weights will do well, and I am excited to see how our seniors prepare themselves,” Humphreys said. “Jaeden Fowers is only a sophomore, and Ryan Bullough is a freshman. They are kids you want to watch as they grow in our program.”
At the state tournament, Dakota Buckner placed fourth overall in the 6A 182-pound weight class.
The Grizzlies captured their fourth straight region championship. They defeated Herriman 42-37, Riverton 48-27, Taylorsville 51-18 and West Jordan 51-24.
“We had 60-plus kids on our team this year,” Humphreys said. “We have kids that come out through our victory wrestling program, but a lot of them come from football or band or other clubs and just want to be a part of a team. I think that about 20 were brand-new wrestlers.”
Humphreys encourages his team to have determination, work hard and sacrifice.
“The hard things you sacrifice make you better,” he said. “When friends want to go out sometimes you have to miss. Wrestling requires giving 100 percent. This team is one of the best teams I have ever had. They are full of character. It is fun; we did not think we could do it, but we did.”