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West Jordan Journal

West Jordan girls wrestling continues to grow in numbers, talent

Nov 30, 2023 12:55PM ● By Josh McFadden

West Jordan’s Tiana Robison, shown here winning a match, is one of the top performers on the West Jordan girls wrestling team. (Photo courtesy Matthew Lloyd)

In a relatively short time, the sport of girls wrestling has exploded. West Jordan High School is starting to catch the fire. 

The Jaguars might not have the most experienced team in the state, but the girls are excited to compete and get better every day. 

“It is very exciting to be able to have girls wrestle on their own,” head coach Matthew Lloyd said. “It is really cool to watch this sport grow so quickly with girls. Our team strength is our eagerness to learn. The girls are not afraid to try something new, which is super important, because they have to get out of their comfort zone and do hard things. It is awesome to see them push themselves so hard in practice and just go for it.”

Most of the competitors on the Jaguars’ team are new to the sport. The most experienced wrestler is Riley Dallof, who previously wrestled Greco/freestyle outside of school. Lloyd said about half the wrestlers are in their first year. The Jaguars still have lower numbers than Lloyd would like. 

“I would love to see more girls come out and give it a try,” he said. “The more people on our team, the better we will get. Wrestling is an individual sport, but when you have lots of good practice partners, it helps you push yourself a little bit harder, and that is what helps you improve.”

Dallof, a junior, has struggled with injuries her first two years. She’s starting to get healthy and is primed to complete her first full year of competition. Senior Tiana Robison, a captain, is a wrestler Lloyd thinks can make an impact in the state tournament. 

“[Robison] wrestled amazingly last year and looks to improve and be one of the best in the area,” he said. “She is a smart wrestler, tough and has the skill to go far in state, I believe.”

Lloyd said many of the newcomers are showing promise and have tremendous potential. He pointed out the improvement of Harmouny Fatiau, Hailey Fox and Geneya Ferreira. Junior Arianna Strong is becoming a leader. Lloyd is impressed with her work ethic and unselfishness. 

“Besides being a skilled wrestler, the best on our team lead by example in practice,” he said. “They are typically the first on the mat and last to leave. They work hard every day and show grit when things get difficult. [Strong] is always encouraging her team to do well and leads through her hustle on the mat.”

As the West Jordan program continues to grow, Lloyd is looking for progress and learning. He’s more concerned with how much work the girls put in and with their commitment than he is with results on the scoreboard. 

“My goals for the whole team are to always show improvement,” he said. “I want each week to be better than the one before. My expectation is that these girls put in 110% effort. As long as they are giving it their all, I'll always be a proud coach. Wrestling is way more than just winning and losing; it's about learning how to face challenges. The lessons these girls learn on the mat they will take with them in every part of their lives. Instead of winning and losing, it is learning and improving.” 

The Jaguars get along well with each other. The wrestlers cheer for one another, celebrate their successes and support one another through the highs and lows. 

“West Jordan girls wrestling is a tight-knit group. Many of the team members refer to it like a family, because we will always have each other’s backs. It is a great opportunity for these kids to be a part of in their high school experience.” λ