CrossFit JHAWKFitness

Co-Head Coach
Dick Briggs

Co-Head Coach
Matt Orton

Athletic Director

Chris Deam

e-mail dist. list form

We 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.


Year by Year
A Condensed Look at the First Fifty plus years
of J-Hawk Wrestling...

2004 Team depth and unity were listed in the “thumbs-up” section of the banquet booklet as reasons for the first varsity winning-season in seven years. Finishing five and four the J-Hawks scored an average of thirty-seven points in the nine dual meets. Three of the four losses were to top ten finishing teams (3A runner-up Iowa City West, third place Kennedy, and tenth place City High). The highlight of the dual season was a Mike Kane concept dubbed “throwback night” which inspired the team during a nail biting win over Xavier. The meet was held in the old gym and the varsity donned 1970’s era Columbia blue tights and white singlets found in storage deep within the bowels of the lower locker room. On that same evening another Dick Briggs innovation was unveiled, the “Mark Ironside Award”. Its presentation would go to the Jefferson wrestler who best attempted to personify Mark’s off-season wrestling excellence. Ironside himself presented the award to junior Tony Olson who earned the initial honor. At the district meet only two J-Hawks started the day seeded high enough to advance to state. When the dust had cleared four athletes qualified for the trip to Des Moines. In the van headed west on Interstate 80 were senior Caleb Moses-189, juniors Tony Olson-103 and Denny Vorba-140, along with sophomore Blaine Beatty who would bring home Jefferson’s first-ever eighth place finish. Beatty joined Mel Wieland and Mark Ironside in becoming only the third J-Hawk to earn a state medal as a sophomore. Six varsity wrestlers finished with more than twenty wins on the season. Once again the season end roster showed forty-seven grapplers in attendance for the banquet, including fifteen frosh. Closer inspection revealed only one other team in 3A (City High) with greater team numbers.
2005 For the first time in many years there was serious talk amongst Jeff wrestlers of contention for a district crown thereby ensuring J-Hawk representation at the state dual tournament (now held annually at the US Cellular Center in downtown Cedar Rapids). The competition could be stiff given the recent success of strong metro rivals Kennedy, Prairie, and
Linn Mar. However nine returning lettermen brimmed with confidence and provided the nucleus for possible success.
What no one could possibly know was that the IHSAA would stun metro-area teams by splitting them up into three separate regions. The district alignment everyone had predicted, and come to expect, did not transpire. The J-Hawks were inexplicably sent to icy Young Arena in Waterloo where several of the strongest teams in the state (including 2005 state champion Waverly-Shell Rock) jockeyed for position hoping to qualify as large a contingent as possible. Coach Briggs would later reflect, “It was the toughest district in the state. We knew it, we had plenty of time to prepare for it, but when it came down to crunch time, the J-Hawks were nowhere to be found.” Three returning state qualifiers (one a medallist and two ‘two-timers’) could not finish in the top two at their weight. For the first time in the proud forty-eight year history of Jefferson High not one representative made the trip to Des Moines for the final state tournament to be held in Veterans Auditorium. Briggs also lamented, “The frustrating part was this group was such a great bunch of guys, you just wanted the best for them. They were so close to being a great team.” As Briggs has said many times, “Its too bad that a team’s success is measured by what is done in the last two weeks of the season.” But the fact is, that is just wrestling. There were many fun and exciting times with the 2005 team. They did manage to tie for second place in the Mississippi division of the MVC with a dual record of five and three. This included lopsided wins over Senior, Washington, and Xavier. It also included a 74-0 spanking of East Waterloo and an electrifying come-from-behind win at Dubuque Hempstead after which the Jefferson faithful in the stands exploded onto the floor to congratulate the team following the final match. The J-Hawks crowned ten individual tournament champions, including the first Ames champ in five years. They also won the Ottumwa Invitational. Six varsity wrestlers garnered over twenty wins on the season, including Josh Burhite-145 and Denny Vorba-140 who finished with 101 and 100 career wins respectively. Vorba did something that had never been done before by becoming the first Jefferson wrestler to never miss (or be late for) a practice in any of his four seasons. Blaine Beatty set a school mark by recording a five second fall in the Kennedy dual. Most in attendance that night will attest if the official had been in position, and a bit more agile, it should have been quicker! The second Ironside Award recipient was senior Anthony Moody. Again, come banquet-time the final team roster ended with numbers in the mid-forties.
2006 Goodbye-Veterans Auditorium. Hello-Wells Fargo Arena. Out with the old- in with the new. Time to “clean-out-the-Barn.” After extreme disappointment at the end of the 2005 season the prospect of starting anew by “flushing” the past was a welcome notion. At some point everyone needs a fresh start, new surroundings and a second chance.
The coaching staff formulated a plan to modify practice and improve action from the feet. There were new Columbia blue championship singlets to be worn. Many wrestlers took advantage of the added training and competition multiple-sport participation offers. For some, gains in strength were starting to show, evidence of quality time spent in the weight room. Key leaders with positive attitudes produced followers with the same. Consistency up and down the varsity line-up bespoke cohesiveness, a trait exhibited on successful teams. The byproduct? A first place finish in the MVC Mississippi division, the first since 1995. A dual record of seven and two. Ten place winners at the MVC Super-Meet produced the first upper division finish since 1997. Twenty tournament finalists and ten crowned champions. Which brings us back to the new Wells Fargo Arena. Senior captains Blaine Beatty-135 and Grant Edwards-215 would not be denied the initial trip. Each had what it took to earn invitations to the coming-out-party inside the shiny new Des Monies venue. At the district tournament Edwards avenged two previous losses to Luke Dolan of Kennedy in the wrestle-back match to punch his ticket. Beatty dominated completely, just itching to make amends for failing to qualify last year (after qualifying freshman year and medalling as a sophomore). Once in the new arena, Beatty cruised to the semifinals before yielding to Kody Pudil of team champion Iowa City West. A strong finish in the medal round Saturday morning saw him finish his career with a fourth place medal around his neck. Edwards stayed alive in the consolation wrestle-backs before elimination one match shy of the medal round. When the dust settled Beatty laid claim to several firsts: First Jefferson freshman to qualify for state. First Jeff wrestler to make both All Metro and All MVC teams four years straight. First J-Hawk to stand on both award stands (Vets and Wells Fargo). First J-Hawk to be voted team Most Valuable Wrestler three times. He was only the eighth Jeff wrestler to qualify three times, and just the seventh two-time medallist coached by Dick Briggs. Seven varsity wrestlers ended the season with more than twenty victories, including freshman Jason McCormick (22) who surpassed Beatty’s (20) varsity win record when he was a freshman four years earlier. Ironside Award co-winners were juniors Weston Marling and Adam Thompson. The team roster continued to swell as fifty-one proud J-Hawks finished the season, including twenty-one freshmen. In summing up the season Coach Briggs remarked, “Individual and team improvement were impressive and I hope something for the younger guys to build on in coming years.



Follow Us All Year Long

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

Wyatt Schultz Photography
The Predicament Wrestling Newspaper
Iowa Prep Sports with KJ Pilcher

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