e-mail dist. list form
hope this will make things easier when sending out forms and
other important info via email to all our parents and wrestlers.
"The Night The Names On The Wall Came To Life!
2010 State Finalist Reunion
For those of you who were unable to attend we have posted a pdf version of the finalist program for you to download.
PLEASE CLICK HERE
|Mark Ironside ~ Once in a Lifetime...
is early. Dawn will not break for several hours. In the
dead of a snowy Iowa winter he is awake long before the
5:00 am alarm sounds. Another day on his mission, the quest
begins anew. Soon a lone shadowy figure scampers through
the neighborhoods of southwest Cedar Rapids. Slowing briefly
at each porch, the daily Gazette is deposited and immediately
he is on to the next, and the next. All that is left for
early risers to know he beat them up again this morning
are the shuffling tracks of hunting boots in the fresh snow.
Quick work is made of
the route he could do with his eyes closed, but the time
elapsed belies the evidence of this grueling per-dawn
ritual; his coveralls are soaked through with sweat. No time to
delay, off to school. There are weights for lifting and
a wrestling mat for drilling before heading to first period
class. For the second time this morning he is drenched in
perspiration from head to toe. His reward? A long hot shower
and hearty breakfast? Rarely. To understand what drove the
paperboy you must understand the unique family that lives
at 2424 Victoria Drive SW.
understood hard work like Keats understood poetry. He was
born to be a wrestler like Lincoln was born to be President.
Mark Ironside knew what it required to be the exception.
The concept is simple to understand, you train the mind
to run the body. But it is not easy. One must never let
the body tell the mind what to do. A body’s potential
is limitless if the mind is not tired. For Mark, lonely
hours of painful and inconvenient sacrifice would soon yield
to glory. For him, the focal point of each day was not eating
junk food, playing video games, or hanging out aimlessly
with friends. It was the 3:00 pm two-hour practice session
most high school grapplers dread. Mark intensely focused
on every minute of the warm-up, drilling, and hard-goes.
He reveled in the physical and mental challenge, and upon
completion would invariably stay on continuing his drilling
after the rest were showered or even home. His body was
indefatigable, but his mind was constantly working too.
One overriding theme existed directing all expenditure of
energy. Call it his prime directive. Like an exam question
he rehearsed before bed, one thought returned each evening.
It has been said that, “The true test of a man is
what he does when no one is watching.” Heeding this
maxim led to post-dinnertime scrutinizing of video shot
by his mother. Then, as a result, discharging the pent up
emotions from watching it. Invariably the prescription was
a second neighborhood patrol…this time ending the
day, in the dark, once again in total anonymity.
What nurtured the internal drive and deep pride? Was it
a one-ups-manship attempt at keeping-up with his older brother
Matt? Or was it initiated as a routine which patriarch and
father Joe Ironside instilled in all his boys while working
the streams trapping, hunting in the fields, or fishing
in the rivers? Perhaps it was a combination of many things,
only he understands for certain. Being born into this clan
means living by a code of honesty, industry, purpose, dedication,
and discerning how to stalk success. To be an Ironside means
you know the great enthusiasms afforded while living the
strenuous life. Not only do you thrive on challenges, you
seek out the most severe confrontations, pushing your body
and mind to unattainable limits. It means having one thing
on your mind at all times and everything you do takes you
one step closer to your goal. Imagine this young man entering
the Jefferson wrestling room as a freshman in the fall of
Mark completed his first season as a J-Hawk 33-0. Yet, incredibly
he was the fourth man at 119 lbs on a team that produced
two state champions and seven medallists. They would score
102 points at the State Tournament and bring home a silver
trophy in class 3A. On the fight ladder Mark found himself
behind three seniors (a state medallist, a returning state
qualifier, and another senior who could beat the qualifier
but not the medallist). Oddly enough, in the final dual
meet of the season (a regional state dual qualifier vs.
West Waterloo) Mark was inserted into the line-up “up-one-weight”
at 125 lbs for his first exposure to varsity duty. He promptly
defeated Jamal Fox, a state medallist, 10-8. With that initiation
it was time to spread his wings in an endeavor that would
become an off-season obsession- freestyle.
During his first spring and summer on the freestyle and
Greco circuit Mark found out he was not far from competing
with, even defeating the best in the state (and nation).
With assistance from mom and dad (hours of driving and video
chronicling each match) he sought out competition whenever
and wherever it was held. His confidence swelled, his appetite
whetted for a place on the award stand in Des Moines where
he had just seen older brother Matt presented with a fifth
place medal during his junior year. Mark understood what
was possible and secretly vowed the two of them would both
stand on the top step the following winter.
His sophomore season began with a tough lesson at the Cougar
extravaganza tournament as Mark got caught in a spladle
and had to spend the whole third period watching the clock
tick down for a 3-2 loss. The loss came at the hands of
Chad Vance of Charles City. That was one of only three losses
he would suffer that year. The following weekend was the
prestigious Keith Young Invitational at Cedar Falls. The
results from this tournament would hail the wrestling community
like a trumpet call. He was now to be recognized as a serious
contender. Mark took the title that day by defeating the
returning state champion and number one ranked wrestler
Matt Dickey in a chaotic and riotous semi-finals match.
Mark was able to take down Dickey in the closing seconds
to win 8-7. He did it with an arm spin move he learned the
previous summer from wrestling freestyle. In the finals
Mark avenged his loss from the previous weekend to Chad
Vance with a dominating 7-2 victory. Mark’s name now
rang in the ears of everyone around the state.
were progressing nicely until the week of the District tournament
when he severely sprained his ankle during PE class. Competing
on one leg, he pinned his way through the field and qualified
for his first state tournament. Upon entering the Big Barn,
Mark was immediately in his element. He made short work
of the preliminary opposition on his way to a Friday night
semi-final showdown with number one ranked Derek Mountsier,
a senior from Newton. In a wild, fast paced, and flurry-filled
match Mark came up short 6-5, but left everything on the
mat in a scrappy attempt. Defeat burned with a searing sting.
It festered overnight until re-entering the arena on Saturday
for the medal round. Several of the J-Hawk faithful erupted
in wild support upon seeing him take the mats for warm-ups.
The Friday night semi-final loss momentarily eased as his
next duty became clear. He punished highly regarded Brian
Bonser of Keokuk for third place. Falling short of his ultimate
goal he was forced to watch senior brother Matt from the
stands that night as he won the first state title for the
Ironside family. Tears of personal disappointment and love
for his older brother welled in Mark’s and every J-Hawk’s
eyes. The two brothers and their teammates earned the third
place team trophy that night. There would be no disappointment
for Mark the next two years in Veterans Auditorium. The
Big Barn was now his personal domain.
The off-season that followed for Mark would be like no other.
He went on a spring and summer tear that would net over
a hundred matches and a third place Cadet National medal
around his neck. His training regimen turned relentless.
If there was any negative related to his obsession it was
the punishment his knees took. Shortly after beginning his
junior campaign Mark knew something was faulty leading to
surgery in late December. His exceptional shape and conditioning
allowed for a speedy recovery, but not even head coach Dick
Briggs could imagine the plan Mark proposed for the two
week point into rehab. Mark’s intent was to wrestle
the number one ranked 130 lber in the Lancer Invitational
the first Saturday in January. The next Thursday he wanted
to wrestle the number one ranked 135 lber in the Linn Mar
dual, and the following Saturday cut down to 125 lbs and
face the two time defending state champion from Iowa City.
The lone blemish on his junior record was a setback to Jeff
McGinness 7-3 in the City High dual. It would not be the
last time the two would square off in a dual meet.
Wisely, there would be no participation in PE class the
week of the district tournament this time around for Mark.
He entered the State Tournament with a single-minded focus
that would not allow anyone or anything to stand in his
way. The punishing tenacity displayed on the mats that February
produced his first trip to the top step of the award stand.
The truth is any vicarious pleasure J-Hawk fans enjoyed
while watching him those three days was earned by Mark alone
in the isolated obscurity of endless reclusive hours spent
in preparation…“when no one was watching.”
|Follow Us All Year Long on...
|Our very own Mark Ironside,
Two-Time State Champion
has been inducted to the
Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame
Class of 2010. Read the article and more information on the 2010 induction ceremony!
cick here to visit website