the season: eight seniors, four juniors, six sophomores
and seven freshmen.|
varsity duals averaged two and sometimes three holes
(forfeits) in the lineup; one Saturday tournament
(at Ames) saw only seven entrants from Jefferson.
The season dual campaign produced just three victories,
tying a school record for team futility. Yet, as
is often the case, the highlight of any season is
the District and State meet. Senior Chris Buesing-189
walked away with a fifth place medal, just missing
out on a trip to the finals, when he was defeated
(most say cheated) in the semi-final round vs. Indianola.
Also qualifying were seniors Brian McArtor-103 and
Clint Miller-160 along with junior Brent Stepanek-171.
Oddly, Buesing did not wrestle his freshman year
and only joined the team at Christmas of his sophomore
year. He came out as a result of a hamburger bet
and began by competing at 275 while weighing only
195 lbs. McArtor did not join the team until his
junior year! Miller and Buesing both went on to
excellent Division III football careers while attending
Loras College in Dubuque.
2001 A fourteenth weight class (215) was added to high
school wrestling in 2001 and Jefferson junior David
Aossey took advantage of it earning a trip to the
state meet. Senior Brent Stepanek-171 and junior
Kyle Dean-145 would also make the trip to Des Moines;
none of the three would place in the top six however.
Once again the dual season could only muster three
victories, which were a success when compared to
the complete meltdown at the MVC Super-Meet. A paltry
six varsity entries produced fourteenth place out
of fourteen MVC schools one dark February Saturday
in Dubuque. The J-Hawk coaching staff was hard pressed
when asked to point out bright spots while recapping
the season. An increase in the roster to thirty-eight
wrestlers who finished the season (fourteen freshman)
certainly was a positive. The addition of assistant
coaches Tom Miller and Mike Kane brought a breath
of fresh air into the room. David Aossey, Blue Aldridge,
and Brent (Spud) Stepanek demonstrated outstanding
leadership qualities in being multi-sport athletes
and fixtures in the weight room, all the while possessing
splendid positive attitudes. Stepanek finished with
102 career wins showing his steady success. Spud’s
win-consistency was the single ray of sunshine in
a dark ocean of excuses and otherwise bleak stretch
2002 For the third season in a row the J-Hawk varsity
could only manage three varsity wins. They were
sixth of seven in the MVC divisional dual standings
and twelfth out of fourteen at the MVC Super-Meet.
Six of the nine dual losses were to top twenty finishing
teams (including champion City High, third place
Linn Mar and eighth place Kennedy). Still, looking
for bright spots and positives proved difficult.
Two athletes qualified for the state meet in Des
Moines, senior David Aossey-215 and junior Rob Olson-145.
Both won a match in consolation wrestle backs but
were eliminated before serious top six-medal contention.
Aossey, and senior teammates Kyle Dean and Blue
Aldridge all finished their careers in the ninety-win
club after four years of service on the mat. Rob
Olson wrote his name in the record books for most
reversals in a career, with one year remaining.
The team roster continued to expand and now stood
at forty survivors who finished the season, more
importantly it contained thirteen freshmen that
showed camaraderie, team cohesiveness, and some
orneriness. They chiefly comprised and bolstered
a junior varsity team that finished the season with
2003 Three state qualifiers led a desperate quest for
medals as the J-Hawks searched for someone to point
the way to the awards stand in Des Moines. A new
four-day concept at Veteran’s Auditorium was
instituted as the medal drought continued for Jefferson.
For the first time medals would be awarded to the
top eight finishers in each weight class. Senior
Rob Olson-152, sophomore cousin Tony Olson-103,
and freshman Blaine Beatty-119 all made the trip.
For the third year in a row all returned empty-handed
(seventh time in forty-six years). To increase the
frustration the J-Hawks were the only MVC team that
did not produce a medallist in 2003. On a positive
note, Beatty became the first freshman in school
history to qualify for the state tournament. Rob
Olson got within one victory of medal contention
before yielding to Micah Washington of Burlington.
Rob was a four-year varsity letterman; all but two
of his eighty-five career wins were earned at the
varsity level. Rob finished up by breaking his own
school record for reversals in a career tallying
101. He had a school record eighteen varsity wins
as a freshman four years earlier. Now, there was
a new J-Hawk freshman (Beatty) that produced twenty
varsity victories eclipsing Rob’s previous
record. Progress as a team was being made too. A
four dual win season pointed towards improvement
as did a seventh place finish in the MVC Super-Meet.
Six of nine dual losses were to top ten finishing
teams at state (two losses each to 3A runner-up
Iowa City West and third place finishing Kennedy).
Of even greater importance for the future, the junior
varsity squad posted a nineteen-win season on their
way to tying City High for the divisional crown.
Note: The JV defeated City High twice in their two
dual meetings of the season. Season’s end
produced a final team roster of forty-eight individuals
that were valiantly attempting to restore Jefferson’s
integrity to the MVC and state. Eighteen frosh finished
the grueling four-month winter season.