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"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
A Condensed Look at the First Fifty plus years
1976 Gazette sports writer Steve Allspach summed it up
this way. “The pressure of the ‘big
house’ here, better know as Vet’s Auditorium,
has gotten to countless young prep athletes during
the state meet. For Jefferson’s Tom Chapman
and Dave Zimmerman though, they couldn’t have
picked a better time to put together physical and
mental toughness for the glory road that leads to
a state championship. Both young men advanced to
the championship final tonight and the way Chapman
attained his spot in the 112 pound final has to
be the story in 3A.” Chapman had defeated
Dan Glenn 2-0 in overtime to advance to the semi-finals.
Glenn, later to place second in the NCAA national
tournament for Gable and the Hawks, had not allowed
a single point to be scored against him during the
1975-76 season. In the end, both Chapman and Zimmerman-145
lost out in their finals bid. Scott Pospisil placed
sixth while the J-Hawks finished eighth in the team
1977 In terms of state meet placing, it may be said that
this edition of the wrestling J-Hawks got the most
from the least. Jeff advanced only three wrestlers
to Des Moines, Newly arrived California transfer
Jerry Johnson-112, Bob Gallagher-105, and Dave Edmunds-155.
With first, fifth, and fourth place finishes respectively,
these grapplers allowed the team to finish fourth
title match was particularly close and not decided
until well after a wild defensive flurry at the
buzzer. He would go on to Slippery Rock University
and compete in the 1982 NCAA Division I national
championships in Ames at 126 lbs.
1978 Bill McNiel ended his eleven-year coaching stint
at Jefferson at the conclusion of the 1978 season.
The J-Hawks were 3-10 in duals and sent but two
representatives to state competition, Jon Russell-112
lbs and Perry Harris-145 lbs. Both placed third
with Russell narrowly missing a chance at the
championship finals bout. McNiel amassed a long
list of accomplishments during his tenure. The
list includes eight individual champions, eight
seconds, eight thirds, eight fourths, three fifths,
and four sixths. Obviously Bill had his shortcomings
when it came to 5ths and 6ths! His 1973 and 1974
teams were 3A champions and his 1972 squad was
second. Eight of Bill’s eleven teams finished
in the top eight in the state. He was inducted
into the Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials
Hall of Fame in 1981 and the National Wrestling
Coaches Hall of Fame in 1998. He and wife Judy
continue to live on First Avenue West near Cleveland
1979 Tim Fowler became Jefferson’s fifth head
coach at the beginning of the 1978-79 season.
Fowler, a 1967 grad, came into a program that
had just suffered its first losing season in school
history. His goal was to put Jefferson back on
the winning track. He immediately signed Jim Cox
and former state champion Mike Gallagher as his
assistants. The up-and-down season ended at 6-5-1.
Four individuals advanced to state competition:
Randy Krumm, who finished sixth at 98 lbs, Jeff
Visek-105, Don Cook-126, and Dan Franklin-167.
Only Krumm made it through the first round.
1980 The conclusion of the 1980 district tournament
was a signal of good things to come. Two sophomores,
Dean Miller-132 and Joe Hill-Super Hwt, along
with junior Mike Johnson-167 qualified for the
trip to state. Miller and Hill were the first
sophs to make the trip in twenty years. Both were
eliminated in the early rounds, but Johnson placed
fifth. There was reason to believe that next year
promised to be very exciting.
1981 Third year coach Fowler adopted the theme “We’re
Movin Up”…and move they did. Dean Miller-132,
Mike Johnson-155, Jeff Roman-167, and Tom Fye-Super
Hwt represented Jefferson at state. The four-man
contingent scored forty-six points in 3A to cop
seventh place in the team race. Roman came in fourth
and Big Tom Fye surprised everyone but his coaches
with fifth in the super heavyweight division, a
weight class which only lasted a handful of seasons.
Mike Johnson made up for his disappointing finish
(up a weight) the year before by being the only
class 3A wrestler to pin his opponent in Saturday
week earlier he had been a district runner-up. He
became the third member of his family to climb the
awards stand in Vets Auditorium. All three Johnsons
helped their respective teams to a top ten placing
at state. Howard (2nd-167 in 1973) helped his team
to a title. Dave (6th-185 in 1975) was a member
of the fourth place team. In a side note, former
coach Bill McNiel was inducted into the Iowa wrestling
Coaches/Officials Hall of Fame before the finals
in Des Moines.
1982 Fowler’s grapplers won Jefferson’s first
MVC championship since 1975. The dual meet season
climaxed with an exciting 24-24 tie vs. Iowa City
West, thus enabling the J-Hawks to win the title.
They qualified junior Justin Reinert-112, and seniors
Chris Chicchelly-126, Dean Miller-132, and Joe Hill-Super
Hwt to the state tournament. Miller became Jefferson’s
third three-time state qualifier, finishing fifth.
Hill pinned four opponents, losing only to the returning
state champion, while posting a solid third place
finish. This year marked the twenty-fifth for wrestling
history at Jefferson. The twenty-five year totals
were very impressive. Many are listed below:
3 State Championships
9 Sectional Championships
3 State Runners-Up Teams
3 Sectional Runners-Up
10 MVC Titles
7 District Titles
9 MVC Runners-Up
9 District Runners-Up
16 Top Ten State Meet finishes
1983 The beginning of the second twenty-five years of
Jefferson wrestling did not produce the success
Tim Fowler had become accustomed to. In an injury-plagued
year, the J-Hawks suffered through a disappointing
5-6 dual campaign. To this point it was only the
second losing season in school history. Seven varsity
mainstays produced above .500 records but inconsistency
in the remainder of the lineup and a reliance on
sophomores filling-in hindered team results. As
with the first Jefferson losing season five years
earlier, the result was a change in head coaches.
Fowler stepped aside to upgrade his career in
education as an administrator. Fowler would be
remembered as a passionate and caring coach that
lived each win and loss along with his athletes.
Three young men qualified for the state meet,
junior Jeff Miller-98, and seniors Scott Meier-138
and Mike Potter-126. None was able to secure a
medal at the Big Barn marking the first time in
school history a J-Hawk squad would return empty
handed. However, there was a former J-Hawk coaching
for the Warriors across the river that unknowingly
was in need of a lawnmower.
|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