Jaguar wrestlers place at state
Apr 11, 2018 10:28AM
● By Greg James
Zach Obray and Jeff Rogers placed at the UHSAA 6A state wrestling meet held at Utah Valley University. (Tiffany Obray/WJ wrestling booster)
West Jordan High school’s wrestling team had two team members place in the recent state championships.
At the UHSAA state championships, Feb. 7–8, held at Utah Valley University, Jeff Rogers placed fourth in the 113-pound weight class, and Zach Obray finished fifth in the 170-pound division.
“Jeff is a very aggressive wrestler,” said head coach Zan Elder. “He has progressed each year and has been one of the top wrestlers on our team the last couple of seasons. He became a team player, and his attitude really helped us toward the end. Zach was a two-time team captain. He spent some time with an injury this season. I could tell when it (his injury) was affecting him.”
Obray sat out part of last season and the beginning of this season because of injuries. He was faced with the possibility of missing the entire season but decided to participate this year with his injury.
In the state consolation final match, Rogers was paired up with Brayden Warner from Hunter. Rogers fell behind 9-5 after the second period. He had a valiant comeback but fell short 10-8 to finish in fourth place.
Rogers won 22 matches and had 16 pins this season.
Obray defeated Lochlan Pearce from Weber 6-3. A key reversal point in the third period secured the victory for him.
“We had a great turnout this year,” Elder said. “We had some new wrestlers with the team. We had some guys that really improved. Each week was a learning process. We had guys that really stuck with it.”
The Jaguars suffered with a few injuries this season. John Earl and Obray, both team captains, spent time this season unable to wrestle because of injury. The team still managed to defeat Taylorsville in a dual match 46-33.
Jeff and his twin brother, Bryan, are juniors on the Jaguars wrestling team. Yvonne Rogers says supporting her sons is very important to her.
“We tell our kids to go and have fun; give it your best shot; win or lose don’t give up,” she said. “I get excited to watch him, but I also get nervous. I feel like I am there to support him and his team.”
Obray began wrestling as a sophomore. He won 14 matches this season and had nine pins.
“It is exciting to see my son do well, and it is difficult to see him lose,” Obray’s mother, Tiffany, said. “I have to scream and yell; it is too intense to sit by. I have gotten to know all of the team and hope for the best for all of them. I knew nothing about wrestling when he started.”
The team will have a new coach next season, as Elder stepped down at the end of the year.
“It has been a great experience the last three years,” he said.
The Jaguars won their only team state championship in 1987.