Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) Paul Langi lifts partner J.J. Larson into the air during wrestling practice at Bingham High School in South Jordan.
Prep wrestling: Out of Harvey’s shadow, Bingham’s Paul Langi emerges as ‘Quiet Monster’
First Published Jan 24 2012 05:44 pm • Last Updated Apr 05 2012 11:38 pm

No matter how good an athlete is, if he grew up with an older sibling who excelled in sports, the two are always compared.

For Bingham’s Paul Langi, the shadow of older brother Harvey’s All-American football career would be impossible to duplicate. The younger Langi has heard the comparisons for years, and while they’ve never really bothered him, he says they’ve given him added incentive.

Photos
At a glance

Paul Langi hates to lose

Bingham senior Paul Langi has been compared with big brother Harvey for as long as he can remember. A standout on the Miner football, wrestling and track teams, Paul Langi will be looking to cast his own shadow on Utah sports as one of the favorites in the Class 5A 195-pound bracket.

Paul Langi broke the family mold as the first Langi to try out for the wrestling team, but he had to convince his mom, Kelesita, first. Langi’s plea must have been a good one, as younger brother Daniel is on the team as a freshman.

A self described “ultracompetitor,” Paul Langi hates to lose at anything — especially video-game competitions with his younger brothers.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"For most of my high-school career, I felt like I had to follow in his footsteps and be really good at everything," said Langi. "It wasn’t Harvey’s fault, but there was some pressure with everyone else making a big deal out of his success."

Paul Langi’s senior football season resulted in 44 tackles, four sacks and an interception. Not good enough for All-American consideration, but enough to land the Bingham senior a scholarship at Idaho State.

Bingham football coach Dave Peck calls Paul Langi the "total package," a kid who got better every game from his linebacker position.

"Paul is one of those kids I never had to worry about," said Peck. "He’s always had a great attitude, is really respected by his peers and by the end of the year he was playing phenomenal football."

Football is a game that resonates in the home of Langi’s parents, Sam and Kelesita. Older brother Sam plays at Scottsdale Community College, and Harvey is coming off a freshman season at the University of Utah.

Langi decided to break the family mold as a freshman when he joined the wrestling team, despite some skepticism from his mom. Because of its physical nature and aggressive style, Langi fell in love with the sport immediately. A state qualifier as a sophomore and a third-place finisher at the 2011 Class 5A state meet at 189 pounds last year, Langi is thinking big for next month’s tournament.

"I was pretty disappointed with us not winning the football title, and that motivates me every day in wrestling ," he said. "Wrestling is an individual sport, and it would feel so good to win it."

Langi is affectionately known by his wrestling teammates as Quiet Monster because of a voracious reading appetite and an aggressive wrestling style that’s accounted for 25 pins this season.


story continues below
story continues below

Miner wrestling coach Matt Walker has seen his star pupil progress every season and would like nothing better than to send the 195-pound senior out in style.

"The joke around here is we call him the real Langi," said Walker. "Harvey wasn’t a wrestler, and Paul is great at football, wrestling and track… He’s the real deal, and that’s what really matters."

Walker said Langi is usually a little slow to get started during wrestling season because he’s involved in so many other things that it takes him a while to get back to wrestling mode.

For those who suggest Langi could have been an even better football player if he’d concentrated on one sport, Langi offers this simple equation.

"Wrestling = toughness, and track = endurance, but wrestling + track = better football player."

Suddenly, that shadow doesn’t seem so big anymore.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.