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West Jordan Journal

Eagles Basketball Team Soars

Mar 20, 2015 12:18PM ● By Greg James

Westridge sophomore Chris Melling (in white jersey #1) scored 2 points and grabbed five rebounds in the Eagles 66-48 victory over Mount Vernon Feb. 4.

Tucked away in the heart of West Jordan is Westridge Academy, a small high school that provides a unique objective and is different than the mainstream high school sports programs across the state. The wins and losses don’t mean much on the basketball court. 

“I am coaching in my sixth season here at Westridge. Before that, I coached at Dugway for 40 years,” head coach George Bruce said. “This is a great bunch of kids. We are starting to come together as a team. We are trying to build great young men.”

The Westridge Academy Eagles boys basketball team started this season by losing nine of its first 11 games. Its only wins came over USDB (76-54) and Telos (68-57).  

But the second half of the season was a different story. The Eagles won eight of their final 14 games.

“We had a player [Kareem Awada] come back from being ineligible, and he has really sparked us.  Trint [Jacobson] had to carry us at the start because he was our only option,” Bruce said.

Jacobson, a senior, averaged 23.8 points per game, topping the state’s 1A division and placing 18th overall. Awada averaged 10.8 points per game.

“We have played good, struggling at times, but we came together as a team. I really try to work on my shot as much as I can. We have great coaches and a great staff that push me to my limits to be my best,” Jacobson said.

Caleb Wold was the only returning player on the roster this season. He averaged 5.6 points per game.

“Sometimes, we have kids with no experience, but I have also had players here that were unbelievable. I have had players that have lived on the street. They have not gone to school in a long time. Some people have the idea that these are bad kids. These are not bad kids. They are fun to be with,” Bruce said.

Westridge competes in Region 18’s North division against St. Joseph, Mount Vernon, Intermountain Christian and USDB. The Utah High School Activities Association 1A boys basketball tournament began March 3 at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield. The Eagles lost in the first round 74-30 to Panguitch High School.

Westridge is a residential therapeutic treatment center for at-risk youth and has participated in varsity athletics since 1990.