During the winter break, 50 junior high and high school wrestlers competed in the Salt River Jamboree, which took place at Salt River High School (SRHS) on December 29. The students represented six schools from around the Valley. Among them were eight SRHS wrestlers. The high school hosted the wrestling meet for the varsity and junior high programs.
SRHS head wrestling coach Na Humma was pleased with the great turnout, and the coaches were happy to get some matches for their dedicated wrestlers over the break.
Throughout the morning and mid-afternoon, the SRHS Eagles took to the mat and also watched the other schools wrestle. Reaching personal goals during the Jamboree competition, wrestlers showed off their strength in front of a filled gymnasium.
Jason James Jr. was an outstanding wrestler for the day, with two impressive victories over opponents from Sequoia Pathway Academy and Sycamore Canyon Academy, both by pin.
“The morning went very well for all our wrestlers. [We’ve] all won once so far, and for me I was able to pin my opponent in the first period at least a minute in, and as of right now for my season I am on a winning steak, 13-0,” said James, who is also captain of the junior high and high school teams.
In his fourth year wrestling and third year on the varsity team, James is the most decorated Eagles wrestler and is also the first-ever wrestler from SRHS to qualify for a national competition; he competed for Team Arizona at the USA Wrestling Cadet National Championships in 2013.
In his fifth year on the team and second year on the varsity team, Denton Miguel got off to a rocky start this season, but he has been constantly improving, increasing his strength and positioning throughout the season.
“My morning started off really good. I got enough sleep and was ready to come here and compete,” said Miguel. “[In] my first match I did good. I was able to pin the guy within the first round. I am real quick at getting out of something, so I think my speed is my strength and helps me every time.”
Miguel is one of the team’s strongest scramblers. He also recorded two pins against opponents from Sycamore Canyon Academy, dropping only one to a grappler from Sequoia Pathway Academy. His season record is now 3-6.
Sophomore Emilio Garcia had a great event, as he’s been putting in serious work in the room to sharpen his skills while working toward completing his first full season with the team. During the Jamboree, Garcia went undefeated, winning his two matches by pinning his opponents from Sycamore Canyon Academy and improving his season record to 3-1.
Freshman Luz Hill-Jimenez is showing great progress in her second year of wrestling and her first year with the varsity squad. Hill-Jimenez had one match during the event; she put up an incredible fight in her first match against a male competitor this season. During her match, she fought with an incredible bridge that lifted both her and her opponent off the mat before losing by pin late in the first period. Her season record is now 2-3.
First-year wrestler Shady Suniga has been a great addition, and according to her coach she has a thirst for knowledge and greatness that is backed up by her work ethic that shines during practices. Suniga opened the Jamboree event as the first Eagles wrestler to take the mat against a student from Sycamore Canyon Academy, and it turned out to be one of the most exciting matches of the day.
“That was an absolute battle that ended with Shady having her hand raised in victory after she pinned her opponent in the second period in 3:27,” shared coach Humma. “She lost her next two matches, one by pin and her last one by major decision. Her season record is now 6-4, and it looks like she’s on track for a favorable seeding at State!”
The SRHS coaching staff and school would like to thank everyone who came out to see the results of the hard work these young men and women put into their craft during the holiday season. The entire team appreciates your support.
SRHS Eagles Wrestling Varsity Standings
SRHS v. Imagine Prep @ Surprise (0-4) Loss
SRHS v. Sequoia Pathway Academy (6-12) Loss
SRHS v. Sycamore Canyon Academy (36-6) WIN
The team currently sports a 2-6 record this season.
As of January 2016 Currently SRHS Varsity Wrestling is fifth in the state in the Boys’ Division and second in the state in the Girls’ Division.