Wrestling in the 119-pound weight class, Cove sophomore Jazmine Kim was trailing her Ellison opponent 2-0.
The first round had just ended on Thursday at Copperas Cove High School. Cove eight-year head coach Jeremy Shannon instructed Kim to choose the “down” position to begin the second round. Kim nodded.
“My coaches know what they’re doing,” Kim said post-match. “I think that they thought by choosing ‘down’ that I’d come up with something.”
Did she ever.
The whistle blew to start the round and Kim immediately flipped her opponent over and made the pin before 15 seconds elapsed.
It was one heck of a move.
There’s plenty of technical names to describe just about everything a wrestler can possibly do on the mat. Single-Leg Takedown, Cradle, Head and Arm, etc.
But since Kim pulled off another lightning-quick, jaw-dropping move to pin a second female foe one hour later, it was suggested that perhaps the best name for Kim’s winning maneuvers could be simply put: “The Jazmine Pin Move.”
The good-natured sophomore chuckled at that.
“Yeah,” Kim said. “OK. ‘The Jazmine Pin Move.’ I like that.”
Her coach loves it.
“Sure, let’s call her pins that,” Shannon said with a laugh. “As long as she keeps pinning opponents, I’m absolutely fine with that name.”
Kim’s record this season is 5-1. Her only loss was in the championship round of the District 13-5A dual tournament on Dec. 14.
What’s most compelling is her entire wrestling career is less than a month old.
“Jazmine is a cheerleader and she’s so athletic so we asked her to come out for wrestling,” Shannon said. “So the first time Jazmine ever stepped on a wrestling mat was actually just three weeks ago.”
Let’s be clear: cheerleaders are athletes. They’re perpetually moving their arms, jumping, kicking in step and often doing cartwheels, somersaults, jumping jacks, and pushups. Sometimes, at halftime, one cheerleader gets tossed about 20 feet in the air and banks on her cheer-mates coming through with the catch. Yes, these girls are athletic.
But most girls who try out for the cheerleading squad don’t do so with the intention that one day all those cartwheels will improve their ability at trying to smash an opponent’s face into a wrestling mat.
So why did Kim join the Cove wrestling squad?
“Well, I wanted to do something less girlie,” she said. “I wanted to do something that will make me a better athlete and I wanted to try something diverse in high school — not just one thing, like cheerleading. I want to try and be good at everything.”
Kim quickly earned the respect of her male teammates.
“She’s very good,” said senior Anthony Murdoch, one of Cove’s top wrestlers. “She works hard. She keeps up with the guys and she’s tough.”
“I love wrestling,” Kim said. “I’ll be sticking with it through the rest of high school.”
Which activity does she like better? Cheerleading or wrestling?
“I’d have to go with wrestling,” Kim replied, making note that she will also continue to cheerlead.
“My goals for our wrestling team this season are to advance really far and for me to do my part,” she said. “Also, I want to make sure that everybody realizes that this is not just a boys sport, that everybody can do it. And just because I’m a cheerleader doesn’t mean I can’t get down and dirty and pin somebody.”
Cove will participate in a three-team meet at Shoemaker High School on Jan 16. Cove will visit Harker Heights High School on Jan. 23. So area wrestling fans will have an opportunity to watch some hard-nosed athletes compete. And those fans will, in all probability, get to witness something else.
The Jazmine Pin Move.
Contact Allan Mandell at email@example.com and follow his blog at KDHpressbox.com