By Mattison Hunter and Megan Flint
Photos by Kevin McInnis
Herriman High’s 2015-2016 wrestling team was dominated by two sets of brothers that have wrestled together for over 10 years. The French brothers, Wade, Shane and Colton will be graduating in June 2016, taking with them the lessons and relationships wrestling has taught them.
Jaron Jensen also graduates with the French brothers this year, leaving some big shoes for his younger brother, sophomore Logan Jensen, to fill. These five wrestlers tackled state in February, placing second overall in the state as a team, while delivering an individual state title.
Jaron Jensen placed first in his weight class (145 pounds), while Wade French (220), Shane French (195) and Logan Jensen (132), all finished second in their weight classes.
“I walked through state,” Jaron said. “I had some tough matches but I got them. At the start of the year I had some tough kids, but they dropped down to 38’s and my finals match I won 15 to 5 and then pinned my way up to the semifinals. In the finals it was 15 to 5. I feel good about it.”
These athletes have been wrestling for most of their lives. The Jensen’s both started at age 5, and the French’s began at age 10. With great coaches, friends, family and brothers at their side, it’s no surprise these athletes have succeeded in the sport.
For the French brothers, wrestling side by side their whole lives is a luxury they don’t take for granted.
“It’s good wrestling with my brother,” Shane said. “We push each other so we train a lot together, he’ll be my partner in and out of the room. We work on improving each other so we can do the best that we can.”
“Wrestling with my brothers adds competition in the room,” Wade said. “We’re really competitive with each other.”
The relationship between the French and Jensen brothers is one that Herriman coaches took advantage of, which makes losing all four of the five wrestlers after this year a bittersweet moment.
“At Herriman you have to be either a French or a Jensen to wrestle on the team,” Wade joked.
“It’s also kind of bad because they lose me, Shane, Colton and also Jaron all at the same time. They’re kind of bummed out for next season, but should do good.”
High school wrestling has come to a close for these seniors, adding extra pressure to Logan Jensen to follow in his big brother’s footsteps.
“I felt the pressure to live up to Jaron last year and everyone had expectations for me,” Logan said. “(Wrestling with Jaron) has been pretty tough. I beat him sometimes. We usually wrestle our dad at home, he challenges us and just goes for it. We usually beat him.”
Jaron has signed to wrestle at the University of Wyoming, with plans to move to Laramie, Wyoming a week after graduation.
The relationship between these brothers not only strengthens the team, but each other, even when tensions get high.
“Practice is good,” Logan said. “When we were little we couldn’t wrestle at all. We used to fight a lot. Whenever he touched me I just wanted to punch him in the face. We grew up and got over that, but still sometimes it can get heated. We get mad at each other. We are the toughest matches for each other. He’s kind of cool I guess.”
Herriman High seniors Megan Flint & Mattison Hunter wrote this story as part of the Preps Utah student journalism program, powered by Bank of American Fork, which will award two of our published student journalists college scholarships at the end of the school year.