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West Jordan Journal

Grizzlies place 10th at state wrestling tournament

Mar 03, 2020 01:30PM ● By Greg James

Copper Hills junior Kolbryn Kearl has a firm hold on his opponent in the divisional qualifier. He had 19 pins this season. (Greg James/City Journals)

By Greg James | [email protected] 

The final standings are set, and wrestlers at Copper Hills High School placed 10th at the state finals.

“We have done really well,” Grizzlies head wrestling coach Jeff Humphreys said. “We are a young team. We only have three seniors on the varsity squad, so to be region champs is pretty good.”

A key point in the team’s success this season came during an early region contest. On Dec. 19, the Grizzlies defeated Bingham 46-33.

“For us to go in and beat Bingham was big,” Humphreys said. “I was proud of them.”

As the match neared completion, Bingham had gotten to within three points. Its final two matches would determine the winner. Senior Jaeden Fowers defeated Carson Neff with a major decision 13-2 at 132 pounds Following that, junior Ryan Bullough pinned Tyson Stidham to ensure the victory. The win helped propel the Grizzlies to their third straight region championship.

Later in the season, they defeated Herriman 57-24, a duel that included four Grizzly pins.

At the state meet, four wrestlers placed in their weight classes; Bullough finished third at 126 pounds, Fowers third at 132, senior Hyrum Ivie fourth at 195 and sophomore Issac Price sixth at 106. In all, eight grapplers advanced to the state tournament.

Fowers finished first at the divisionals (qualifier for state). His 45-5 overall record was best on the team, and he tied Bullough with 23 pins this year. Bullough finished 40-12, and Benjamin Bohne was 40-14. Both ended up with 22 pins.

“We had a beast heavyweight,” Humphreys said. “He is a beast.”

At 285 pounds, Kaden Bybee is that beast Humphreys talked about. He compiled a 29-14 record this season. 

“I can’t believe our girls got beat out,” Humphreys said.

Next season, the Utah High School Activities Association has sanctioned girls wrestling. Until now, they had participated right alongside the boys.

“I treat them like everyone else; girls that come in our room know there is no special in,” Humphreys said. “The boys know they don’t do an easy. They come in and work hard. Those girls, they are tough. Allyssa Pace at 113 is a stud.”

Pace completed the season with a 13-21 record and is scheduled to compete at girls state Feb. 17 (after press deadline) at Telos U in Lehi.

“We are a family; I don’t tolerate swearing or bullying,” Humphreys said. “All of us come from different cultures, but in that room, we are a family. They look up to me, and I look up to them. I have to be a coach, but every kid is different, physically and emotionally. I try to become their friend. It is more me trying to get to know them as a person, then they will respect me more. The hard-nose coach can push them, but then they can come and talk to me any time. I feel that is why we get a lot of kids.” 

The Grizzlies finished with 45 student-athletes on their team. Humphreys boasts that several carry 4.0 grade point averages.