After a strong showing from both teams, the Stansbury Stallions boys and girls wrestling teams are looking forward to the upcoming winter season.
For the girls squad, the wrestlers are coming off a banner year during which saw eight players go to state in the team’s first full season of competition. This year will see many familiar faces from that group, as only one senior departed over the summer.
Head coach Codie Miller says he looks forward to seeing the impact the returning players will have on the newcomers, especially with the considerable growth of his roster.
“They’re helping bring the new ones along, so it will be interesting to see how things are progressing,” he said. “I’m excited to see what we accomplish this year.”
With the growth of the team, and girls wrestling in general, Miller wants to draw more attention to his girls and give his players the best opportunities to advance in their futures as students and athletes.
“There’s a great possibility they could get college scholarships, because (girls wrestling) is growing at the college level,” Miller said. “And that’s the goal, to get to the next level of competition and furthering their education.”
Expectations are high for Miller and the team, as the return of last year’s core players means the squad will remain highly competitive.
“I definitely want to place in the top five at state,” Miller said. “And I think that is very possible.”
Boys team ready to build on first year in 5A Region
Gearing up for their second season in a new region, boys wrestling coach Tyson Linnell anticipates that his team will be well-prepared to face the higher level of opponents.
“For our first year at being 5A, I felt that we performed well,” Linnell said. “Our (5A) region is probably the toughest wrestling region.”
Last year, Linnell’s goal for the team was to finish in the top eight of the 5A group, but the Stallions ended up settling for 12th.
“Overall, I thought we did well,” he said. “Just having that (competition) in the region is tough, but it makes us better.”
Heading into the 2022-23 season Linnell will have a young group of wrestlers, even compared to last year when the team only had a half-dozen seniors.“We were super young last year, which is good for the future,” Linnell said. “(But) I think the guys are ready.”
With the return of seasoned wrestlers such as Tyler Khoundet — who placed at state — and state finalist Brandon Ploehn, Linnell believes his team will benefit from their experience and leadership. He also cited Ian Rogers as another veteran-type presence who will help the other players get accustomed to the playing strategy.
“Those three just put in a lot of hard work to get to that next level,” Linnell said. “In wrestling, you have to have that drive.”
Ultimately, Linnell once again has his sights set on a top-10 finish in the region and is confident the players are physically, and mentally, in shape to meet that goal.
“(The team) put in a lot of work in the offseason and I think it’s going to better prepare us for this year,” he said. “We just come in here with the expectation that we’re going to get better every single day.”