Stansbury 195-pounder Kaden Shin is putting together a special senior season.
He sports a stellar 31-2 record after winning his weight class at the Best of the West tournament Saturday at Tooele High School, the latest highlight of an already-impressive year. On Tuesday night at Utah Valley University, he’ll add yet another accolade — the title of All-Star, as he is one of six 195-pounders who will take part in the 20th edition of the Utah All-Star Duals.
“It’s a pretty huge honor,” Shin said. “Just the fact that the college coaches around the state noticed my hard work and what I do — they noticed that I belong with the top guys in the state, and I find that really honorable.”
Shin is the third Stansbury wrestler in as many years to reach the All-Star Duals, with 113-pounder Dylian Moore competing in 2018 and 106-pounder Jake Otero taking part in 2019.
“It’s a big accomplishment for (Shin) and he deserves to be there,” Stansbury coach Tyson Linnell said. “He’s just worked super hard to get there. Kaden’s kind of taken the role to be a lot more vocal this year and push the whole team.”
Shin’s senior season comes on the heels of a strong junior year, though his 2019 campaign came to a disappointing end at last year’s state tournament when he failed to place. That has served as a motivating factor for him coming into this year.
“The mental game of wrestling is such a huge part,” said Shin, who competed for Hurricane High School as a freshman and sophomore before moving to Tooele County as a junior. “This offseason, I really focused on that. That’s my fire — the mental game. That’s the fire that’s under me. Improving that is the biggest part, and then the wrestling will come.
“After high school, I’m joining the United States Marines. In six months, I won’t have what I have right now. We’ve got a good coaching staff, and I’m gifted to be in the situation I’m in with great coaches and great teammates around me. There’s so much support (at Stansbury).”
Linnell lauded Shin’s work ethic, noting the amount of work he put in during the offseason and the sacrifices he made in order to improve his skills on the wrestling mat.
“He put in a lot of offseason work,” Linnell said. “He did spring season with me and went back to Virginia Beach for the high school nationals. He’s worked really hard to get better, and he actually decided not to play football to focus on wrestling.
“He doesn’t like talking about (2019), but I know in the back of his mind, that’s the fuel for this season — it’s not going to happen again. The goal is to be a state champion. That’s the only goal he’s got.”
Shin is competing for the Wildcard team in the All-Star Duals, which also feature teams representing classes 6A, 5A, 4A and 3A along with a combined 2A/1A team. There are also 13 female competitors taking part in Tuesday’s festivities.
Shin will face Kolton Kammeyer of Fremont in Tuesday’s seventh match on the south mat at the UCCU Center. Wrestling action begins at 6:45 p.m.