The Fairbury Jeffs are off to a great start with wrestling this season as the team creates close bonds from hard work and determination that led them to take the top spot in York, a place where four years ago, they were in last place. On Thursday, the Jeffs also outscored every other team at a quad dual at Fillmore Central High School.
Coach Derek Garfield explained that throughout the past few years, the team has been working to rebuild itself from the ground up. He believes that the effort that the athletes are putting into this season is already showing.
“We have come a long way,” said Garfield. “It’s been a rebuilding process. Four years ago, we got dead last in the tournament in York. It’s just something that we didn’t want to do anymore. So, we laid down some things that we wanted to do; we did a ton of off-season work, and these kids bought into everything we sold.”
Even though wrestling is an individual sport, Garfield believes that the team is made even stronger by having everyone work together and to keep each other motivated.
“We have a great group of guys and girls who are willing to put in that work,” Garfield said. “Good things are going to happen because of that. The sport of wrestling is one of those sports where if you put time in, you’re gonna see a lot of improvement, and that is the reward for all of the hard work that these guys are doing.”
On Saturday, the Jeffs traveled to York, where nine athletes received medals. Here are the results:
Jacob Johnson, first place; Damian Green, second place; Patrick Ondrak, second place; Austin Barnts, third place; Logan Slater, third place; Anthony Moyer, third place; Paul Mach, third place; Zach Reikofski, fourth place; Autumn Branson, sixth place; Brock Beed, seventh place; Hunter Green, seventh place; Quinton Gwin eighth place. Here are some photos by Dr. Jeff Johnson:
On Thursday, the Jeffs faced off against three other teams at Fillmore Central’s quad dual, winning each dual. Cumulative, they outscored the other three teams by 185 points to 54 points. Here are some photos by Jaelle Johnson:
Garfield explained that this coming Saturday, the Jeffs will make their way to Crete to face off against several difficult teams.
“Crete’s a tough tournament,” said Garfield. “Gretna, probably the toughest team in Class B, will be there. We have some big Class A schools there too. There’s no rest for the weary because we’ve got another test right in front of us, and we’re preparing for that.”
The Jeffs are on the pursuit of a state title this year, and Garfield believes that the athletes are hungry for a victorious season. He explained that even with all of the hard work and determination, they still have some things that they need to work on in order to reach state.
“We kind of want to dictate the tempo and the pace of the match,” said Garfield. “So, we’ve got to do a better job setting stuff up and using our hands. The good news is that we won a tournament, and we still have a long way to go, and there are a lot of opportunities to get better. That’s a good sign. Our goal is to out work everybody.”