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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
1992 Seven state qualifiers bolstered the J-Hawks to a 1992
district crown. Mark Ironside-130 claimed his first state
title less than two months after knee surgery capping
a 32-1-1 junior season. He became the school’s sixth
state champion in the last four years. With one more year
remaining he also rewrote four school records in the process.
Senior Eric Baker-103 won his second state medal copping
fourth while seniors Brad Pike-275 and Josh Lathrop-171
placed fourth and fifth respectively. The J-Hawk contingent
scored the same number of tournament points as the year
before when they placed third, however on this occasion
it would only be good enough for seventh. Also qualifying
for a trip to Des Moines were senior Darrin O’Brien-112,
junior Jarod Young-160, and sophomore Travis Pike-145.
In a strange twist of fate O’Brien left the District
tournament in the Jefferson gym as runner-up but complaining
he did not feel well. A day later he was forced to withdraw
from the state tournament from his hospital bed. The team
finished the dual season 13-4, losing twice to Cedar Falls.
The second occasion being the regional state duals qualifier
just days after the traditional state meet at Veteran’s
auditorium. It should be noted that three of the top four
Class 3A schools at state were from the MVC. Yet, this
team accomplished one thing no other Jefferson team ever
had, they won their own J-Hawk Invitational. Coach Briggs
recalled the season’s highlight as, “the amount
of hard work put in by individuals and the success they
enjoyed as a result of that hard work.” The upcoming
year would see “senior” phenom Mark Ironside
lead his team to a result that has never been equaled
in the fifty-year existence of Jefferson wrestling.
1993 The Mississippi Valley Conference expanded from ten to
fourteen teams in 1993. Two divisions, Mississippi and
Valley, were created to hold seven teams each. The arrangement
of each would shuffle and realign every two years assuring
a variety in scheduling but allowing for traditional rivalries
to continue. The four new members were East and West Waterloo,
Cedar Falls, and newly built Xavier. In addition a new
MVC Super-Meet in early February would crown a true MVC
tournament champion in addition to the two divisional
dual champions. In its inaugural season the Super-Meet
was held in the Five Seasons Civic Center (later renamed
the US Cellular Center) in downtown Cedar Rapids. It would
be one of six tournaments the J-Hawks would win in 1993:
Keith Young, North Scott, J-Hawk (second time), Ames,
MVC, and a District title. But those school record-setting
crowns paled in comparison to the two state team trophies
this team earned from Des Moines (3rd) and Marshalltown
(4th). To this day they remain the only Jefferson squad
to harvest team hardware from both the traditional and
dual state tournaments in the same year. It should be
noted that the top three teams at the traditional state
meet were all from the MVC, the J-Hawks missing the silver
trophy by ½ point. Any discussion of this team
begins and ends with Mark Ironside-135 lbs, the most successful
wrestler Jefferson has ever produced. Mark would steamroll
his way through his senior campaign on his way to a second
state championship, a 41-1 season record, and a four-year
mark of 138-5-1. During his championship match, in an
attempt to secure bonus points and the silver team trophy,
he set a state tournament record for most match points
amassed during a finals match (27). After winning a second
state title, but failing to earn a technical fall or pin,
he angrily stormed to the basement of Vets Auditorium
in disgust. Mark’s only two losses (once as a junior
once as a senior) were to undefeated four-time state champion
Jeff McGinness (career record 126-0). Both seasons Jeff
moved up a weight trying to help City High to victory.
The first time it was successful, the second it was not.
McGinness and Ironside had the most exciting matches ever
witnessed by the Jefferson and City High faithful. On
both occasions the steamy City High gym was rocking as
both wrestlers were on the attack for six minutes. Their
future Hawkeye coach, Dan Gable was in attendance, unable
to contain a continuous smile throughout the match. Note:
A separate page in this booklet chronicles Mark’s
entire wrestling career from his freshman year at Jefferson
to his four-time All American status, his two Division
I NCAA championships, and the Dan Hodge Trophy presentation.
Mark was a key figure on four NCAA team champions (1995-98)
from the University of Iowa, coached three seasons by
the legendary Dan Gable and then as a senior by Jim Zalesky.
But Mark did not win the 1993-team trophies alone; he
had help from teammates that drafted alongside his greatness.
Seniors Ray Ratcliff-112, Mark Pendergast-145, and Jarod
Young-160 placed fourth, fifth, and fourth respectively.
Juniors Jon Vlasek-103 and Travis Pike-152 garnered third
and fourth place medals. Seniors George Horak-125 and
Ron Gilson-171 also qualified for the trip to Des Moines.
This was a team that responded to being pushed in practice
and subsequently had the mental toughness to excel when
the pressure was turned on from their opponents in addition
to other challenges life presented. Several of the state
medallists avenged losses to previous opposition; one
(Gilson) rebounded from what could have been career-ending
injury when he shattered his cheek bone and spent New
Year’s Eve having facial surgery. The entire team
found the recipe for staying mentally focused in the regional
dual victory over Fort Madison to earn a trip to the state
dual tournament. In the final analysis it is crystal clear
the team took their cues from the solid focus, supreme
intensity, extreme passion, and unbridled excellence of
their leader Mark Ironside.
|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