Everything is Better with Jam


The Lady Dinos have had a great season in their second year of girls’ high school wrestling at Carbon High. They recently participated at the divisionals in Emery County and are preparing to wrestled at the state tournament on Feb. 16 and 17.

With a lot of highs, there have also been some lows this season, including coach Jamill Tapia being diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

Coach Jimmy Parker shared in an earlier Facebook post, “Last night, I just experienced one of the most miraculous things I’ve seen. I was able to go to an open mat and watch Coach Jam coach some of the Carbon girls wrestlers in preparation for an upcoming season.”

He continued, “I know you are probably thinking, big deal, coaches are doing that everywhere. What you failed to realize is that less than a month ago, Coach Jam was admitted to the hospital in a fight for her life. After experiencing symptoms where she starting losing function of her legs and hands, she was eventually diagnosed and treated by wonderful doctors in both Price, Utah and Provo with Guillain-Barre Syndrome.”

Coach Parker is not the only one who saw Tapia’s strength. Fellow coaches, the wrestlers and the community saw it as well.

“She is so influential and is not just an outstanding woman, wife, mother, friend, family, leader.. she’s a Lady Dino wrestling coach,” said Nicole Lee.

Lee said the Tapia’s previous health decline raised some more issues along her recovery journey and has made it difficult for her to be by her team’s side the majority of our season.

“Although present when able, she is missed by the Lady Dinos tremendously,” Lee said. “To show their coach just how much she means to them, and in support of the wonderful person she is, our Lady Dinos showed up to divisionals all wearing shirts in support of Jamill because ‘Everything is better with Jam,’ including being part of such a big connection of players, coaches and parents.”

She said that she had never seen such a group of coaches anywhere that love and are so involved with their athletes on not just an athletic level, but an educational one.

“Jamill and her husband Frankie, alongside Coach Brittnie Anderon and Jimmy Parker, truly have connected with these kids and love them as their own,” Lee said. “We couldn’t ask for any better.”

Jamill’s mother, Traci Gunderson Wakefield, had a message for her daughter. “It’s been a pretty tough last 4.5 months with my daughter’s health, fighting with the Guillain-Barre Syndrome. But through it all and still fighting the aftermath of the disease that has affected her nerves around her heart now, her working with the Carbon Dino girls wrestling team has been a blessing in so many ways. Jamill being honored by her team has been such an honor. And as her mama, I couldn’t be prouder of her. I love you, sweetheart.”

She ended with, “The way that Jamil battles this disease is an inspiration to me and all of our Lady Dinos. No matter how hard a wrestling match or any other problem may be, if you battle like Coach Jam, you will be victorious!”

Coach Parker said that if anyone knows Coach Jam, they know that there isn’t anything that will keep her down. “Last night, as I watched her jog, shoot, duck walk and teach these girls new wrestling moves, I couldn’t help to be amazed and be in awe of my dear friend and fellow Carbon girls’ wrestling coach,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, everyday will be battle, but I know that with her family, friends, community and wrestlers, nothing will stop her. Everything is better with Jam.”

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