The high school wrestling season is here, and students have begun to hit the mats and hone their skills as they prepare for a successful season for the Salt River High School and Junior High wrestling teams.
“We have seven junior-high wrestlers this year, and we look forward to having the sixth-graders from the elementary school coming out and joining us as well,” said Simon Smith, junior high wrestling coach.
According to Smith, a few eighth-graders are returning to the team from last year, and other motivated junior-high wrestlers are also participating. “We also have a few girls who came and tried out this year and who are on the team,” said Smith. Last year, two wrestlers competed in the state finals, and that’s something everyone is hoping for again this year.
“Throughout the practices, almost every day we have the wrestlers run two miles for warm-ups and do over 200 push-ups, and on top of that they wrestle for an hour,” said Smith. “They really work hard, and it’s not like any other workout.”
Na Humma, who has been the assistant head coach for the school’s wrestling team for the last three years, is the head coach of the varsity team this year.
The high school team has one returning wrestler, Jesus Salazar. “He is coming in looking strong, and we expect him to at least place at state this year,” said Humma.
There are also two strong transfer students on the team this year, from flagstaff and Mesa, three newcomers and a freshman girl who wrestled when she was in sixth grade.
“We have a home meet on December 19 and a tournament January 11 and 12 where the players will have a chance to display their moves and what all they can do in front of their fans in the Community,” said Humma.