Redfield's Replays: January 24
THE "ACCIDENTAL" WRESTLER
Blue Valley senior wrestler Jackson Macoubrie found the sport almost by accident. It was his freshman year and he was headed for open gym before the basketball season.
“I was on my way to a pre-season basketball open gym when a close friend of mine grabbed me and led me to the high school wrestling room where they were having an open mat,” he says. “I went along thinking, 'I’ll just go in as a joke and pretend to be a wrestler.'
“I participated in a few drills and decided to stay for the entire event. The experience really piqued my interest, so I returned a few days later for the next open mat. That initial experience turned my attention from basketball to wrestling. I have grown to love wrestling as both a wrestler and an avid fan.”
Now in his senior year, he is ranked No. 2 in the 182-pound weight class in Class 6A, according to the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association rankings.
Not bad for someone who never wrestled before his freshman year.
It isn’t easy to start the sport as a freshman when so many wrestlers have been in the sport since the early grades.
“This is my fourth year of wrestling and I’m wrestling guys who have been doing this for sometimes 10-plus years,” he says. “My off-season wrestling programs gave me invaluable experience and I’m certain I would not be as successful had I not participated.”
“Jackson is a great young man, very positive and a great leader for our program,” Tigers coach Kale Mann says. “In addition to being a very good wrestler, he was also captain of the soccer team and a first-team all-state selection in soccer.
“Last season he had a .500 record, but with a bit more experience and success from his spring and summer seasons, he has really turned up the intensity in matches. He is scoring a lot of points and dominating wrestlers that, last year, would have been close matches.”
Macoubrie had a 16-1 record in his first 17 bouts.
“Currently, my greatest accomplishment is winning the championship at the Johnson County Classic,” he says.
What is his strength as a wrestler?
“My strength is my quickness on my feet,” he says. “I have worked on that extensively over the last year. This helps with avoiding takedowns and taking down my opponents.”
He has both team and individual goals for his final high school wrestling season.
“My goals for this season are to have a great showing as a team at the state tournament, and hopefully have a few kids win some championships and medals,” he says. “Personally, I want to be in the (182) championship match.”
The senior wants to wrestle on the collegiate level.
“Currently, I’m fixated on careers associated with athletics, but we’ll see,” he says.
It's not a stretch to say Macoubrie is pretty good athlete.
“We had about a week off between the soccer and wrestling season,” he says. “My friends and I went to Blue Valley’s football field and kicked field goals all day.
“Just messing around, we saw who could kick the farthest field goals and I had a 70-yard field goal with a video to prove it. I can also dunk a basketball, which I feel is rare for a wrestler.
“I’m just an average kid who is extremely lucky to have such a great and loving life.”
MCNUTT IS KANSAS GATORADE RUNNER OF THE YEAR
Blue Valley West junior Stuart McNutt has been named as the Gatorade Kansas Boy Cross Country Runner of the Year.
The junior was undefeated against Kansas and Kansas City-area runners. He easily won the Class 6A individual championship.
He was the national champion at the Cross Country Coaches Youth Championships and placed 25th at the Nike Cross National Championships in early December in Portland, Ore.