Grapplers compete at state duals

On Saturday Feb. 25 the Fairbury wrestling team traveled to Kearney to compete at the NSAA State Duals. This was the first time in Jeff history that a Fairbury team has qualified for the state dual tournament.

The Jeffs went into the dual tournament as the eighth seed in the bracket and took on the first seeded, and eventual champions, Gretna Dragons. Fairbury had a tough time scoring points against Gretna and lost by a final score of 57-12. In the second dual of the day the Jeffs squared off against the Grand Island Northwest Vikings. The Vikings got off to a hot start and the Jeffs couldn’t recover as they lost 51-26.

The Jeff wrestlers finished their season with many impressive accomplishments and records. They qualified eight wrestlers for the state tournament, which was a school record. Over the course of the season five wrestlers earned their 100th wins. The Jeffs graduate four seniors from this year’s team.

Jeffs bring home some hardware from the State meet

The 2016-2017 wrestling season broke a lot of records. One of the many was sending eight wrestlers to the state meet breaking the record of seven tied last year and set in 2013. 

The Jeffs medaled three wrestlers. Damian Green ‘17 became the first Jeff wrestler to to wrestle in the finals since 2002. Green placed 2nd in 160.

Jacob Johnson earned 5th in 170, and Logan Slater earned 6th in 132.

Wrestlers who also qualified for the state meet include Austin Barnts ‘18 (126), Anthony Moyer ‘17 (152), Patrick Ondrak ‘17 (182), Zach Reikofski ‘18 (195), and Paul Mach ‘17 (285).

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Austin Barnts ’18 shoots the leg looking for control at the York invite. Barnts finished second in districts and was one of eight record-setting Jeff wrestlers to qualify for State.

Wrestling makes its mark in Jeff history

The Jeffs are sending a record breaking eight state qualifiers to Omaha. The state meet is taking place Thursday, Feb. 15-Saturday Sat, Feb. 17 taking place at the CenturyLink Center.

There’s no doubt about it, the 2016-17  wrestling season has been quite the memorable season. Five boys earned their spot onto the 100 win club this year, doubling the count since the 1960s, as well as Damian Green ’17 breaking the overall career win record. 

The achievements don’t just stop there. This year eight Jeffs broke the previous record of seven state qualifiers which was set in 2015-16. This record tied the previously set record in the 2012-13 season.

Wrapping up the wrestling season, The Jeffs will head to Kearney next weekend, and participate in the state duals for the first time in Jeff history.

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Patrick Ondrak ’17 wrestling 182
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Paul Mach ’17 wrestling 285
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Damian Green ’17 wrestling 160
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Anthony Moyer ’17 wrestling 152
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Jacob Johnson ’18 wresting 170
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Austin Barnts ’18 wrestling 126
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Logan Slater ’18 wrestling 132
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Zach Reikofski wrestling 195

Jeffs get fourth at Plattsmouth Invite

On Saturday, Jan. 21 the Fairbury wrestlers headed to Plattsmouth to take part in the Plattsmouth Invite. The invite was a big one that had 14 teams and showcased some top teams from Class A and Class B.

Fairbury finished fourth in the team rankings and had eight medalists on the day. The Jeffs had five wrestlers claim runner up and both Damian Green ’17 and Jacob Johnson ’18 earned first place finishes.

Johnson earned his 100th career victory when he pinned Josh Francois from Bellevue East. He became just the eighth wrestler in Fairbury history to reach 100 career wins.

Wrestlers defeat Central City in Dual

On Jan. 25 the Fairbury Jeff wrestling team hosted their first home event as they took on the Central City Bison in a dual. The Jeffs earned the victory as they won the dual by a final score of 53-28.

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Anthony Moyer ’17 points to the crowd following his 100th career victory. Moyer is the ninth wrestler in Fairbury history to reach 100 wins.

A highlight on the night occurred when Anthony Moyer’ 17 earned his 100th career victory and become just the ninth wrestler in Fairbury history to reach 100 wins. Moyer pinned Shad Quintanilla from Central City in the first period to reach this milestone.

The next action for the Jeffs Wrestling team is Friday Jan. 27 as they host their home invite.

Green’s record breaking career

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Damian Green ’17 prepares his next move against his opponent from Seward. Photo by: R. Achtemeier

With back breaking work comes record breaking results. Not every year does a record get broken, but this year is a different story.

Recently Damian Green ’17 broke the high school record of 118 wins. The record was previously held by Joshua Moody ’13. The wrestlers traveled to Nebraska City Jan. 14 for a tournament. Green was sitting at 114 wins going into the tournament. He went 5-0 ending with a record breaking total of wins at 119.

“Damian is 100% self motivated. That’s why he’s had the success he’s had,” Head Wrestling coach Derek Garfield said.

With his determination Damian reached his 100th career win early on in the season, pushing him to break the record.

“When I got to 100 [wins] coach told me I was close [to the record] so I worked to surpass it…” Green said.

Not a lot of athletes can say they had a record breaking career in high school.

“I train everyday, weights in the morning… traveling across the country in the off season for tournaments.” Green said.

Mach upsets top ranked wrestler

On Jan. 10 the Fairbury Jeffs wrestling team traveled to Wilber to compete in the Blue River Riot. The Blue River Riot consisted of Fairbury, Seward, West-Point Beemer and Wilber/Clatonia.

Despite having only four teams present, the tournament hosted  big matches, featuring some of the state’s best wrestlers. The biggest match on the night for the Jeffs was Paul Mach ‘17 facing off against Riley Homolka of Wilber/Clatonia in the 285 pound weight class.

Homolka entered the match as the top ranked heavyweight in Class C. Mach earned the upset as he beat Homolka by a final score of 3-2.

Going into the match head Fairbury wrestling coach Derek Garfield saw the match as an opportunity.

“My first thought was that it was a huge opportunity to wrestle one of the best in the state…in the past Paul and Riley have gone 1-1,” coach Garfield said. “Two years ago Paul beat Riley and last year Riley was able to repay him.” Coach Garfield said.”

Being able to beat one of the best wrestlers boosted Mach’s confidence, who currently sits at 24-2 on the season.

“It makes me feel good,” Mach said. “It makes me feel confident in my abilities.”

Even after knocking off the top ranked wrestler in Class C, both Coach Garfield and Mach plan to continue improving as the season progresses.

“It means we are doing the right things in practice . . . we expect to get better everyday and we have to keep improving,” Coach Garfield said.

The win didn’t change Mach’s approach or the team’s as they head into the latter part of January with the goal of wresting their best in February.

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Paul Mach ’17 upset the top ranked wrestler in Class C at the 285 pound weight class. Mach is currently 24-2 on the season. 

“Just keep wrestling the way I wrestle and hopefully good things will happen,” Mach said.

Wrestlers place third at Bennington

The Fairbury wrestling team headed to Bennington on New Year’s  Eve to compete in the Badger duals. Fairbury placed third out of six teams behind the Bellevue East Chieftains and the Bennington Badgers.

Damian Green, Paul Mach, Jacob Johnson, and Austin Barnts all went undefeated winning all five of their matches. It was the first competition after winter break.

“I thought that we’d be in the hunt for a team title…Bennington was rated fifth in the state for class B and Bellevue is rated 8th in class A so we knew that both those would be tough duals,” said Coach Derek Garfield.

Wrestlers go undefeated at triple dual

On Thursday Dec. 8 the Fairbury wrestling team traveled to Fillmore Central to compete in a triple dual with Tri-County, Waverly and Fillmore Central. The Jeffs won each of their duals on the night and finished first in the team standings.

The Jeffs defeated Fillmore Central 66-12 and picked up pins by Ace York ’19, Anthony Moyer ’17, and Paul Mach ’17. Fairbury also picked up a victory against Waverly by a score against 59-24. The Jeffs won their final dual against Tri-County by a score of 60-18 and had six wrestlers earn pins in the dual. Fairbury head wrestling coach Derek Garfield was pleased with his team’s performance.

“We expected to go out and win all three duals… and we got the wins that we needed to get,” Coach Garfield said.

The next competition for the Fairbury wrestlers is Dec. 10 as they travel to Crete to wrestle in the Crete Invitational.

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Logan Slater ’18 earns a pin over his opponent from Waverly. Slater won all three of his matches at the triple dual. Picture taken by: Rielee Achtemeier

Wrestlers Win York Invite

On Saturday Dec. 3 the Fairbury wrestling team traveled to York to compete in their first competition of the year. The Jeffs had high hopes going into the tournament as the Jeffs return six state qualifiers to this years team.

The Jeffs came away from the tournament with nine individual medalists. Jacob Johnson ’18 led the charge and was the lone champion for Fairbury, while both Damian Green ’17 and Patrick Ondrak ’17 placed second in their weight classes.

Fairbury earned the team title in the twelve team field as they scored 135.5 points. The runner up was David City with 130.5 points. The next competition for the Jeffs is Dec. 8 as they travel to Fillmore Central for a triple dual.

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Jacob Johnson ’18 works while on top of his opponent from Crete. Johnson went on to win the match by pin.