Soroco wrestling might be green this year, but the Rams have high expectations

Soroco junior Larhae Whaley wins the state semifinal match at 100 pounds in Ball Arena on Feb. 18. Whaley and the Rams look to start the season strong on the way to the state championship.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

With a small, young team this year, Soroco wrestling has put an emphasis on commitment and high expectations.

Head coach Jay Whaley said it‘s his job to take a bunch of students and turn them into good, strong young adults. He added that he sees unlimited potential in every one of the athletes and hopes each wrestler grows in one aspect or another this season. 

“It’s a young team,” Whaley said. “I do not have a single senior on the team. They’re all sophomores and juniors, in fact, and they’re all pretty young and green with not a lot of experience — but I do have some returning kids.” 

With a majority of the Rams somewhat new to the sport, Soroco’s most experienced wrestler is junior Larhae Whaley, who has her sights on a run to the state championship this season. 

For the newer wrestlers, Jay Whaley is hopeful to see them work hard every day, learn the best they can and fall in love with the sport. 

The team has only 11 wrestlers on the roster with just two girls and nine boys. Two of the boys have already suffered injuries though, limiting the team to seven to start the season. 

“Everybody is at a different level; I just hope every one of them improves,” the coach said. “My second-year kids, a lot of them may have not had winning records last year but they started to learn the sport. I think we will see a few of them do a lot better this year.”

As it always is, Whaley’s goal for the season is to get all of his wrestlers to the state tournament, though he understands that his wrestlers play sports for different reasons. 

The team will hold a goal-setting night where each athlete will identify a measurable goal for the season. These goals can be changed or tweaked throughout the year, but they will also be taped on a wall to serve as reminders. 

Each week during conditioning, Whaley will discuss these goals with his players to keep them focused and concentrated.

For the girls, the season starts Friday, Dec. 2, when they will travel to Greeley for a tournament. 

The boys will have to wait until Dec. 9, when Soroco hosts its home tournament inviting 11 boys teams and 10 girls teams to compete over a two-day event. 

Whaley said the Rams are excited to have the season starting up and he cannot wait to see his athletes compete on the mat. 

“We talked a lot about commitment and dedication to whatever you are doing,” Whaley said. “It just so happens to be wrestling in that room and how the sport reflects on life. There’s nobody to hide behind, you are out there by yourself in front of the community. I really think it exemplifies a lot of great characteristics for the kids who stick it out and do it.”

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