“Damian is a kid who sleeps, eats and breathes wrestling his entire life, and his hard work has paid off,” said Derek Garfield, head wrestling coach for the Fairbury Jeffs, discussing the new school record set by Damian Green during their meet at Nebraska City.
Green has surpassed Joshua Moody to become the new record-holder for all time wrestling wins at Fairbury Jr./Sr. High School. Green is excited about the victory, though he does not intend to stop working hard both on and off the mat.
“I’m just really proud that all of the hard work that I’ve put in is paying off,” Green said. “You have to be smart on the mats, you have to be smart in the classroom and outside of school. I’ve been trying to stay healthy. I just want to keep it going.”
Garfield emphasized just how much of an accomplishment it is for Green to win 119 matches in his career.
“I hope people realize the magnitude of what Damian has accomplished,” said Garfield. “It’s a huge deal. It just proves that hard work pays off, and we’re proud to be a part of it. He’s at 119 wins and counting now, and we hope they keep coming. It was definitely a special day for everyone involved.”
Green was not the only wrestler from Fairbury to see success during the meet at Nebraska City. Garfield explained that there were four wrestlers who went undefeated, one of whom defeated a highly-ranked competitor.
“Paul Mach went 5-0, Jacob Johnson went 5-0, Damian Green went 5-0 and Anthony Moyer went 5-0,” Garfield said. “Then we had Logan Slater who went 4-1 and Zach Reikofski also went 4-1. So, we had some good performances from a lot of guys.
“The highlight of the day for me not only was Damian’s win, but Anthony Moyer knocked off the number four kid in Class B with an overtime win,” Garfield continued. “It was a great match. He got the takedown in overtime, and it was a big, big win.”
(Photos by Leah Mach and Leah Moyer)
Garfield emphasized that the wrestlers are hungry for a chance to compete in the state competition in February, which is why they are putting in extra hours practicing. He stated that there are quite a few meets left in the coming weeks that will determine that fate.
“The coaches can lay the ground work, but the kids have to be the ones to take the baton and run with it, and they’ve done that,” said Garfield. “They’re reaping the benefits of their hard work. These kids are putting in the time.
“We have some challenges coming up” Garfield continued. “Next week we have Plattsmouth, which is going to be a loaded tournament, then the following week we have a dual in the BFAC (Burkley Fine Arts Center) with my brother’s team, Central City. We’d like to see a lot of people out for that one. Then we have an invite two Fridays from now. Mixed in there is a trip to Omaha Skutt to go see the best of the best, so things are going to get real tough real quick. If we keep doing what we’re doing, we should be able to qualify a lot of guys for state.”