|2015 What a season! The season that many had been waiting for, proved to be as rewarding as expected. The years of preparation and hard work paid off in many ways.
Team accomplishments: 2nd at the MVC Super Meet, SE Polk Inv., and the Johnston Inv. Team champions of the J-Hawk Inv. and Districts. The team ventured to Rochester, MN to participate in the 2 day, very difficult national dual tournament, The Clash. Our J-Hawks represented extremely well going 2-4, with all but one loss decided by one match. What a cool experience for a very deserving team and their families. After an undefeated conference dual season the J-Hawks qualified for the regional dual meet based on the state coach’s rankings. Under ranked again the J-Hawks drew the Western Dubuque Bobcats for a chance to wrestle in the State Duals. The J-Hawks destroyed WD 46-15.
At the State Duals the J-Hawks drew the Johnston Dragons. In what Coach Briggs declared was the best overall team performance of the season, the J-Hawks once again proved the state coach’s rankings to be wrong with a convincing 33-19 win over the higher seeded/ranked Dragons. The next meet vs. Bettendorf the J-Hawks held a few State qualifiers out, with potential matchups the next day at traditional state, and lost 44-29. For the 3rd place meet the J-Hawks jumped all over the CRP team 59-6, losing only one match.
Individually: the team rocked with 8 wrestlers that had 30+ wins on the season. Four wrestlers topped the 100+ career wins including all-time career varsity leaders Kelly May (124) and Luke Sedlacek (120).
The J-Hawks did not disappoint the home district crowd as they qualified 8 wrestlers to State:
- Zach Main – 106lbs.
- Brenden Baker – 113lbs.
- Joseph Sibomana – 120lbs.
- Kyle Briggs – 132lbs.
- Tavian Rashed – 152lbs.
- Luke Sedlacek – 160lbs.
- Kelly May – 182lbs.
- Dalton Kuehl – 285lbs.
The team finished 7th in Des Moines with medalists in Kuehl (2nd), May (3rd), 2x Baker (4th), and 2x Briggs (8th).
2016 Another excellent season with many, very high accomplishments both individually and as a team. Team highlights were: a 12-4 dual record, 1st in the MVC Valley division, runner-up finishes at the Cedar Falls Inv., Valley Inv., SE Polk Inv., Benton Comm. Inv., and the MVC Super Meet. The CRX meet was preceded with an introduction of the 15 coaches that served as an assistant during Coach Briggs’ 34 year tenure.
Individually the J-Hawks crowned 14 tournament champions including three MVC Champs in Brenden Baker, Kyle Briggs, and Nick Dreckman. Others that captured a tourney title this season were: Joseph Sibomana, Matt Culver. Briggs finished the season with 42 wins, 35 by major dec. or better.
Once again the J-Hawks were handed one of the toughest districts in the state (28 ranked wrestlers vs. 7 in the west district). Because of this the coaches believe that a few potential J-Hawk state medalists were left at home. The J-Hawks qualified four wrestlers for state in district champs Baker, Briggs, and Sibomana as well as runner-up Dreckman. The draws for the 4 individual qualifiers could not have been much worse. Never-the-less our J-Hawks gave it their best effort, highlighted by, hair cover clad, Baker’s exciting last second victory and a 3rd place medal. Briggs recorded 3 pins and a major for a 5th place medal, while Sibomana also gave tremendous effort by avenging a loss over his CRP opponent and walked away with a 6th place medal.
Baker and Briggs ended their careers as some of the most accomplished wrestlers in J-Hawk history. While as a J-Hawk, Baker: won 15 tournaments, was a 3x state place winner (3rd in history), owns three schools records, and is the 2nd winningest varsity wrestler of all time (138 wins). In his four years as a J-Hawk, Briggs: was a tournament finalist 21 times, a 4x state qualifier (1st ever), a 3x state place winner (4thin history), 4x guts club winner (1 of 3 ever), holds 5 school records, and leaves Jefferson as the winningest varsity wrestler of all time (141 wins). Brenden and Kyle have set the bar high and to say these two will be missed is a huge understatement.
A disappointing note for the season was that this is a team that deserved better from the coaches of the state and the IHSAA. The coaches dropped the J-Hawks from a 5th rank to a 9th rank on the important ranking that determined the regional dual host teams, eliminating JHS from hosting. To top it off, the IHSAA decided to send the J-Hawks on a 4+ hour trip to the 5th ranked team rather than to the 8th ranked team where they should have been. It is the belief of the JHS coaches that this year’s version of the J-Hawks was one of the top 8 teams in the state and should have been given the chance to host a regional dual with the appropriately ranked teams.
This season proved to be the end of an era. After 33 years as the head of the J-Hawk Wrestling program Coach Dick Briggs has stepped down and handed the reigns to Matt Orton.