Jackson's JV wrestlers go 9-0, preserve dual streak

Monday, March 6, 2006

The 15-year streak was extended to 143 victories.

Junior varsity records and results normally do not receive much fanfare outside of the coaching staff and players themselves.

At Jackson High School the JV wrestling program has put together a streak which is hard to ignore. The Indians have not lost a dual JV meet in 15 years, a streak of 143 straight wins.

"It's kind of a phenomenal deal," Jackson coach Steve Wachter said. "It's quite an achievement for your younger wrestlers coming up."

During that streak the varsity program has finished in the top 10 in the state seven times. Jackson has also had seven individual state champions in that span as well. While it is not likely those state champions spent much time at the JV level, many of Jackson's successful JV wrestlers have made the jump to the varsity level.

Wachter said with a senior-heavy group this year they will need some of those JV wrestlers to step up next year.

"We graduate seven seniors so there will be quite a step up for these wrestlers," he said. "A lot of these JV wrestlers will have to take those spots."

This season the Indians went 9-0 in JV duals and won the conference meet. Michael Graefe, Chris Hirst, Doug Froemsdorf, Justin Darnell, Ian Fitzgerald, DeMarcus Huddleston, Tyler Ptacek and Ben Wood were conference champions.

The goal of all of Jackson JV wrestlers is to make their mark at the state meet, something Jackson has done a lot of lately. While senior Kamden Rampley earned much of the headlines for his record-breaking 54-0 state-title run in the 215-pound division, fellow senior Sean Gant had a strong showing as well.

Gant finished fourth at 152 pounds in his first appearance at the state meet. After falling in the quarterfinal round to eventual champion Justin Wolfrum, Gant won three straight wrestleback matches, including a 5-3 overtime decision to make it to the third-place match. In the third-place match Gant lost a 7-3 decision to Ray Hall of Oak Park.

Wachter said Gant, a four-year varsity wrestler, had a great state meet.

As a team, Jackson finished 12th with 43 points.

Jones' daughter earns award

Shakara Jones, the daughter of Central High graduates Ron and Anita Jones, recently earned the Pontiac Game Changing Performance Athlete of the Month award from KMOV-TV in St. Louis.

Jones attends Francis Howell Central, which will receive $500 from Pontiac.

Jones' grandparents, Mary Squires and Virgie Jackson, are Cape Girardeau residents. Ron Jones played basketball at Missouri following his career at Central.

Colon to throw at NCAA meet

Central graduate Ashley Colon, a junior at Truman State University, has qualified for the NCAA Division II National Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Boston, Mass., on March 10-11.

Colon qualified in the weight throw with a toss of 56 feet, 3 1/4 inches, which was accomplished at the Knox Meet. The throw ranks seventh among the 14 competitors in the field. Colon has had the top throw at six straight competitions, including the MIAA conference meet.

College notes

* Central graduate John Thies has pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings with six strikeouts and two walks for the Tigers in his debut season at Missouri. Thies picked up a win in his debut, pitching two innings in relief in a 5-3 win over Kennesaw State on Feb. 11. In a 5-1 win over Louisiana-Monroe on Feb. 17, Thies struck out four in two innings of scoreless relief.

* Central graduate Travis Cox, a junior at William Penn, earned academic all-conference honors as a member of the basketball team. Cox led the team in assists with 112 (3.5 per game) and tied a single-season school record with 74 steals. Cox also averaged 6.1 points and 5.2 rebounds, as William Penn won its first regular-season Midwest Classic Conference title since 1983. William Penn lost in the conference tournament finals. Also for William Penn, Southeast Missouri State transfer Norman Prather led the team in scoring and rebounding at 17.1 points and 7.5 rebounds a game.

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