Last year, the Park Hill boys wrestling team finished seventh as a team in Class 4, while the girls squad had a pair of state placers.
The Trojans return some key pieces on both teams, and should contend with the best at the state level. With the 2021-22 season about to start, Park Hill coach Jacob Beck sat down and answered some questions about his program.
How are the first couple of weeks of practice going? What are the main things you’re working on to begin the season?
“It’s going great. We have a good group of boys and girls that are taking each day head on with the goal of improving. We are working on the basics and hitting them very hard. Those are stance, level changes, hand fighting, building bases and getting to our feet.”
What type of teams do you have? Are they youthful or more experienced?
“It’s a mixture of both. We have three returning state finalists on the guys side (Cael Keck, Kody Ketchum, and Kan Miller), and two returning placers on the girls (Taryn Johnson and Eve Herlyn). There a ton of freshmen and sophomores looking to make a splash including some incoming kids state placers.” (Egstad, Turner on the boys, Vargas on the girls)
What can you tell me about your returning state placers?
“We have three returning finalists on the boys side – Cael Keck, Kody Ketchum and Kal Miller. They are all very different individuals but play their own part to lead our team. They have played instrumental parts in changing our team culture for the better. They also train very hard and do all of the right things. We have two returning girl placers – Taryn Johnson and Eve Herlyn. They have lofty goals for the year and pride themselves on being the faces of our growing girls program.”
How high are your expectations for each of those returning state placers?
“We have very high goals for everyone in the year. Park Hill has prided itself as a wrestling school for quite sometime and everyone that steps foot on the mat or is a part of the program is conscious of what it means to wear the Park Hill Trojan singlet.”
Who do you think might surprise some people this year?
“I think the improved depth of our team will surprise some. We have been more of a tournament team for a while, excelling on the performances of a few hammers at a time. We have been working to continue to progress a wider variety athletes at all weights, guys and girls, to do more damage in the dual settings, as well.”