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The Paths of Athletic Alumni

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The Paths of Athletic Alumni

Lainee Miller, Staff Writer

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Many Copper Hills athletes have gone on to bigger and better things in college. Putting in countless hours in the gym, and into their studies, many try to better themselves to get to the next level, and to move into the world of college sports as Grizzly Athlete Alumni.

Copper Hills Alumni, Zac Jensen went on to wrestle at Utah Valley University. Surprisingly, he did not begin wrestling until his junior year because of other sports like football, baseball, and basketball. When basketball didn’t pan out because of his height, he decided to try out for wrestling. That year, he ended up winning the tournament and taking 4th at state. Jensen stated, “I was the only wrestler on the team at UVU who wasn’t a multiple state champion or state runner-up. The only wrestler who had not wrestled all four years of high school, who hadn’t wrestled with club wrestling year around. For me to only be a two-year wrestler going into college was unheard of.” Now graduated, Jensen is helping teach future generations as an assistant coach at Copper Hills.

Desirae McBee, formerly known as “Cruse,” went to Weber State for high jump. She attended Copper Hills and graduated in 2012. She got many awards, including Academic All-region in 2012 and Copper Hills Athlete of the Year Award in 2009. She had stumbled a little bit with injuries and decided she was going to go out with a good record her senior year. After working hard in the gym, in school, and working on mental toughness, she won 3rd at State in inside high jump and 1st in outside high jump. Mcbee did track all four years in high school and fought her way to get a scholarship to Weber State. To anyone who wants to further their sport in college, McBee said, “Don’t underestimate yourself, don’t sell yourself short, work hard, fight hard and grades are important. If you create good study habits, then it continues to college and you don’t have to create new ones in college.” She’s now a beloved teacher at Copper Hills and is helping coach girls basketball this winter.

Roni Jones-Perry went to BYU for Volleyball. She graduated Copper Hills in 2015 and since then, has made her name known around the nation. She started off playing softball and doing gymnastics, but then tried volleyball and fell in love with the sport. She lettered all 4 years in high school. She originally preferred the University of Utah over BYU. When the U of U wasn’t interested, she took the scholarship offered to her at BYU. Not being LDS made her feel a little out of place at first, but she loved it in the end. In 2016, after breaking her finger, during practice she was forced to sit out, and the volleyball team suffered a great loss to the University of Portland. “I truly believe that the broken pinky made me a better player, and I’m grateful for it now. It taught me a lot about sacrificing for the team, about staying humble, and about working hard on the small things,” said Jones-Perry. She pushed through and continued looking to the future instead of dwelling upon the injury. Her team is now one of the top-ranked women’s volleyball teams in the nation. Jones-Perry hopes to play volleyball after college.

These alumni have worked hard to get where they are today, and where they want to be in the future. Many have filtered in and out of Copper Hills, and there are many senior athletes who are about to begin this journey. There will be trials along the way; it is up to the athlete to succeed or fail and to continue with that success.

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