Alex Jones ended his first trip to the Iowa State Wrestling Tournament in Des Moines, Feb. 21, with a loss to Denver tournament veteran Isaac Schimmels (6-0).
Jones, who wrestled at 132 in Class 1A, won his consolation first-round match against Brady Thompson, of Logan-Magnolia, via fall (3:37). He was in the consolation bracket due to another decision, this time 5-0, in his opening match, Feb. 20, against Trey Schuck, of Sibley-Ocheyeden.
Coach Alex Hanna added, “AJ did a great job at the state tournament this weekend. He walked right onto the mat and wrestled the best he had all season. Sometimes a first-timer can be a little overwhelmed by the stage, but he acted like he had been there before.
“In his first match, he worked well on his feet and hung tough with a place-winner from last year. Obviously, he would have liked to have won that match but going toe-to-toe with a veteran state wrestler was encouraging.
“He did a great job bouncing back for his second match and went out and took care of business on the backside. Getting taken down kind of woke him up a bit and then he got on top and did what he does best. A fall at state is a great accomplishment and got him into the next day.
“His final match was against another state tournament veteran from Denver and he again hung in well with him. A late takedown in the first put us a little behind the eight-ball but he kept fighting until the end. The loss eliminated him from the tournament one win short of the podium.
“AJ has had an outstanding career at Ed-Co and he is deserving of every honor he receives. No one has worked harder than he has to get to where he is and he has earned everything he has gotten. Alex is a great leader and role model for our younger athletes at Ed-Co and I hope they have been watching and learning from his example.”