◆ Teams go a combined 43-3 at traditional summer event.
After a year of isolation pods and restrictions on fans and interaction and following protocols just to keep the season alive, the SVHS Wrestling program found themselves in a familiar place doing things they had always done. In a word, things were normal.
The trip to Salina, Utah has been one that students and staff look forward to during the summer months because of the competition, the camaraderie, the swimming and the ice cream.
“It started out small,” said Head Coach Eddie Clark. “Their coach Barry Smith decided he was fed up with spending money to go somewhere else to wrestle so he said we can do that right here. It’s cheap and there are some really good wrestlers in Utah so it’s really nice.”
According to Clark the team got several days of action which included seeing Columbia High out of the Boise area as well as South Fremont and Bear River.
“Everybody gets tested so it’s always great for us to get some good competition and it’s an opportunity for our guys to spend some time together,” he said. “Every team has a new identity so they get to spend some time developing that.”
They also continued to develop the winning mentality that has resulted in Star Valley winning the past six Wyoming 3A titles as the Varsity ‘A’ team went 23-0 over the weekend and the Varsity ‘B’ squad went 20-3. It points to continued success as the program looks to tie the school record of seven straight titles next year.
“The big thing is, we’re deep; so it’s going to be a fun year for us,” Clark said. “We’ve got our club team feeding us at the Middle School and then to the High School. We feel good about what we have going right now. More than anything, it’s just a fun trip and the kids look forward to it every year. We’re fortunate the school district provided a bus for us so we’re grateful for that. Getting that much mat time i the summer is really advantageous for us.”
Clark also named several wrestlers who had made clear progress since the end of the season in February.
“Caleb Morrison was a really small 98 pound kid wrestling 106 who had to battle through last year,” he said. “He’s full-sized now and had a great week. Weston Angell is wrestling as well as I’ve ever seen him. Joe Thompson and Zac Patterson and Harrison Hoopes and Malachi Patterson wrestled great. I was really concerned about losing some of our big guys but seeing Carter White and Kyson Hebdon and Aiden Crook and Joe Warren have really come a long way since the end of wrestling season.”
Clark also related a story that is one to make the community proud.
“We took the kids to Richfield to the Ideal Dairy for ice cream,” he said. “All of the kids had walked in to the place and this guy and his wife walked into the dairy he told us that all of our kids got out of the way and ushered them up to the front without being asked. He said we’re from California and we didn’t know there were still kids like that. It speaks well to the caliber of kids we have in our program and the community”
The team also made the trip with a new coach in tow for the first time in many years as long-time assistant, Adam Guild, stepped away from the program after 21 years. Clark praised Guild and his staff for their work over the past two decades.
“Wrestling is still pertinent in Star Valley which makes it nice as a coach,” he said. “That culture was here from Richard Hoopes when we got here and we’ve been fortunate to carry it on from there. It’s been a blessing to have Coach Guild for 21 years. He’s a great coach, teacher, mentor and friend. Adam Baker has joined our staff to fill that void. We’ll miss Coach Guild. It was bitter-sweet jumping on the road with Coach Baker but to not have Coach Guild on the bus it was weird I won’t lie.”
Listen to the full interview with Coach Clark at svinews.com/radio.