Challenges always come. It’s a part of life. For many the challenges break them and for others they are a way to grow and learn. It’s all in how you see the challenge, a gift or a setback. Hurricane’s own Weston Jaggi has learned to see them as gifts and is grateful for them, no matter the type.
Looking to go into the medical field out of high school Weston first sought out pursuing orthodontics. However, after finding himself on the losing side of a battle with a dirt bike, Weston lost a finger and so Medical Anatomy is something he is looking deeper into.
While his injury was not something he will ever forget, (losing a finger will do that to you) he has learned to cope with it and has even grown accustomed to the nickname his fellow teammates have given him. “They call me ‘Nueve’ because it means nine in Spanish,” says Weston with a smile.
Shortly before his sophomore year Weston was out on his dirt bike, took a bad spill, had to have his finger amputated and began his process of recover which entailed multiple surgeries. Together with the surgeries and traditional physical therapy, Weston had to learn how to be patient. “I didn’t have to sit out the whole season of football though. I would go to practices with the cast on and watch but around the last three weeks [of the season] I was able to get some playing time.”
Weston still gets on his dirt bike and rides whenever he can despite the injury. It is something he enjoys doing and sees no reason to stop. “I really like riding stuff; dirt bikes, mountain bikes, any machines really. I love bing outdoors, hunting and riding.”
Playing the guitar was something Weston’s mother Belinda was worried he might be able to do after the accident. “He is really passionate about the guitar and plays really well,” she says. “It was one of the major fingers on his playing had so he had to relearn how to play altogether. He is almost playing better now though then before the accident.”
“I have learned how to embrace the challenge,” says the Tiger. “I just kept plugging along and going through all the therapy until I was done, but I was not going to let it stop me. I am determined to be better than I was before the accident. Better at everything.”
Learning to wrestle, as a teenager in high school can be a challenge that Weston has accepted wholeheartedly. When most wrestlers begin at 5 or 6 Jaggi knows he has some ground to make up but knows that, “If I work hard though I can make things happen,” he says.
Belinda notes, “If he gets into the later rounds on the mat he usually ends up pinning himself because he has not learned enough moves. So, his goal is to get in and get the pin real quick. Thankfully he has not gone too many second or third rounds, he is usually getting the pin in the first round and even within the first minute or two most times.”
Confident that he will be able to have a significant impact this year for his team Weston has set his sights on opportunities to strengthening his ground game. “I make sure that I am always at our ‘Open Mat’ time at school which is a big help. Sometimes I am the only one there so I get a lot of one-on-one time with the coach. I make sure while in practice that I specifically pick a partner who is better, quicker, and more skillful than I am so that I can always be learning. If I can get my moves in on people that are really good then I know that I am at least doing them right, plus if I want to beat the best I have to train and compete with the best.”
Over the Christmas break this last year Weston went and spent time with a family of decorated wrestlers in Maple Mountain. One son specifically was a 3x State Champion, Tanner Cox. Weston spent a week working out and training with these great wrestlers to pick up the tips and tricks he could use while on the mat. To extend his training beyond the week however, Weston’s parents made sure to get film of the practices so that Weston could study his own performance and learn where he could improve even further.
Where most athletes’ stop is practice, yet to sit down with and watch tape after practice, an athlete can really develop. What makes things even easier is learning how to analyze tape, to be taught what to look for and how to find areas of improvement. “Tanner really helped him learn how to watch myself on tape too,” says Belinda. “By watching himself he would learn where he did something wrong and how he could get out of a particular move. It was a really great experience for Weston, he learned a whole lot.”
“I am determined to be better than I was before my accident. Better at everything.”
“Wrestling is one of those sports that you compete as a team but you are on the mat all by yourself.” Weston continues, “It’s a real rush to compete and see so many styles of wrestling. It’s a great way in competition to see what they can do. Wrestling against your teammates can get old sometimes so that competitions and match expose you to different styles that challenge you.”
As far as rivalries go, Weston has a very personal one. “Every team is good but I have to beat Desert Hills,” he says. “We love that, that’s for sure. There is kind of a rivalry across all teams and sports but Desert Hills has some great wrestlers and if you can get on the map and beat them it’s a great feeling. If we beat DHills we are psyched afterwards. They have a great program.”
Hoping to take the nest step on Varsity in his final year, Weston would love to make a trip to the big show. “Getting to state is the end goal. We would love to see him compete in a state tournament,” says Shaun, Weston’s father. Echoing the sentiment of his father Weston is looking forward to his time, “It is my final moment and I am going to make it count. I really want to compete at state, and if I work I know I can get there.”
Playing three sports, football, wrestling and track, can be a bit of a challenge at times for the returning senior. Yet, Weston has already overcome difficulty and has learned quite well from his adversity. “I feel that everything I have already gone through, the surgeries, amputation, just the whole recovery process has made me stronger.”
Knowing he can do hard things, that life can be tough; it’s all motivation to be tougher. With Weston, nine is more than ten. • HSSI