O'Brien County's Bell-Times-Courier -

Bronze is Good!


February 28, 2019

Luke Jenness

It's a pretty good sign when training is your favorite part. That's what Luke Jenness of Primghar says of his climb to the success of his high school wrestling career. A core value to Jenness of his wrestling, past and future, is to glorify God through his wrestling and his life. Throughout a conversation with Luke's about his time as a wrestler through the completion of his high school career he returned to his core value, to glorify God.

But the training is such an important part of trudging through the lows of competition to Jenness. He refers to the ups and downs and mountains and valleys. Upon reflection, he says, "That is the best part. It's all about the journey. It is satisfying to accomplish goals."

Looking back, Jenness, homeschooled, began wrestling in 1st or maybe 2nd grade. At the time it was new and exciting at the Primghar Community Building. He went and he had fun! He participated, but nothing official. He had other relatives involved in wrestling: cousins Tim, Bryce and Brytton. Luke credits his mom and dad for encouraging him.

Before long he entered a Pee Wee tournament at Sheldon. He got pinned. He says, "I learn more from the losses than the wins. It motivates."

Luke traveled down memory lane about his junior high time with former coaches Pete Matthews and Jeff Roberts. "The tournaments and the atmosphere were great." He found out fast that the high school competition is even tougher.

It should be pointed out that in his freshman year, wrestling at 170lbs. he was facing kids 2 or 3 years older. In wrestling, that a lot.

Jenness found his way to other independent tournaments and included Freestyle and Grecco wrestling in his book of experience. These tournaments were more regional with some state and national competitions. It kept him training. He looks forward to competition this summer. There will be some competitions in Iowa, but more national. He is looking to the qualifying tournaments for the national tournament.

Jenness signed with Northwestern College where he will continue his wrestling effort. He's been training with college students for his off-season tournaments. And this year, until college competition starts, Jenness will be anxious. He broke his leg in April 2018. He heard a snap during a match. He broke his right fibula and tore ligaments. He was lucky not to have a full cast. He wore a boot for a few weeks following surgery. It took 3 months for him to get back to full strength.

During his time as a member of the Sheldon-South O'Brien team Jenness reached state all 4 years. He was district Champion his sophomore, junior and senior years. He earned his way to state his freshman year in a wrestle-back. He won in a 4-2 decision. "Those kinds of things really stick with you," he says of that scoring detail.

Jenness says that wrestling is a sport that brings people together. "I've mad so many good friends. We're competitors on the mat but really good buds outside of a match." In asking about his success he describes it as knowing your opponent. Do they use upper body strength and try to throw your? Or do they scramble. He describes how to defend against the different styles of wrestlers one might face. He says the best thing to do is to trust yourself and (he says this is the hardest thing) stay calm.

Above all, Jenness says of his wrestling world, "The Lord blessed me with everything I've done and to be able to compete. He's put a passion inside me."

Jenness earned a bronze medal at the 2019 Iowa wrestling tournament at 182 lbs. He went to the lost the path to the championship round in the quarterfinals to the ultimate champion. He has a bright future ahead of him.


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