Appropriately, a larger-than-life statue of the champion was placed in the high school gym to encourage and inspire, smiling on generations of wrestlers who dreamed of touching greatness.
The 2004-2005 Wasatch wrestling team was filled with wrestlers who believed they would touch greatness, and they did.
State champions? Convincingly, with 123 more points than second place, Uintah. That year, the boys from Wasatch also won the Reno Tournament of Champions and were finalists in Minnesota’s prestigious dual tournament, The Clash. Our team of local talent that trained behind the bleachers in a makeshift room earned a number two national ranking, across all high school classifications – including noteworthy private wrestling academies back East. For sure they were a remarkable team, but in my estimation, their greatness is just now coming to the surface.
Look what they’re doing now.
Nine years later, many of them are still competing – several, inside their sport. And as exciting as it is to see local athletes go on to compete at the highest levels, not all will become icons with their own signature-model shoes.
I recently interviewed three brothers, all members of the 2004-2005 Wasatch wrestling team to get an idea of what these mat champions have done since leaving high school. In an age plagued by attitudes of entitlement, these three young men are refreshing; their stories, compelling. And they remain as much a part of the Wasatch wrestling family as they ever did.
What is it about our wrestling program that produces such life-champions?
This article is the first installment of a three part series in which I will attempt to bring to light the products of Wasatch wrestling other than gold medals and team titles, sourcing examples from the Smith brothers themselves: Jordy, newlywed and second-year law student; Casey, a commissioned officer in the United States Army; and Ethan, a D-1 student-athlete in his junior year.
Next week: Jordy and Corbin: the youngest of the Smith brothers will start his wrestling career at Wasatch this year. As a former coach of the incoming freshman class, what does Jordan Smith have to say to his youngest brother and his classmates about Wasatch wrestling tradition?