CEDAR RAPIDS – Kelly May aspired to don a Cedar Rapids Jefferson singlet.
He envisioned his time as a J-Hawk back when he joined the Bad Boys youth wrestling club in third grade.
The Jefferson sophomore has made that wish a reality and added to his contributions Tuesday night, helping the J-Hawks to two home Mississippi Valley Conference dual wins.
The youngster is stepping into the shoes of the wrestlers he admired.
“It’s a dream come true,” May said. “I’d go to Thursday night practices when I was younger. Go to the duals. You just dream about one day walking out on the mat as a J-Hawk. Now, it’s here.”
He is 18-6 and ranked 10th at 145 in Class 3A by The Predicament. The start has been successful, but he is far from content, especially with missed opportunities in his six losses.
“It’s been fun,” said May, noting his goals lead to the state podium in Des Moines. “It isn’t completely satisfying yet.”
May added to the fun Tuesday. He posted a pin that gave Jefferson (7-5, 5-3 MVC) a lead for good in a 54-19 win over Cedar Rapids Xavier. May scored a major decision in the J-Hawks’ 36-24 victory over Dubuque Wahlert (3-9, 3-5) in the opener.
“My second match was better,” May said. “There is always more to improve.”
Jefferson co-head coach Dick Briggs said sky is the limit for May. Briggs said progress continues to be achieved and May is evolving into a strong competitor for his grade.
“He’s doing a great job,” Briggs said. “I’m proud of Kelly. He’s showing some good leadership in the room. He’s a hard worker.”
May, who also plays football, put in a lot of work before the season. He wrestled freestyle with the Cedar Hawk Club. He benefitted from the challenge and working with different quality partners twice a week. It allowed him to fine-tune his skills.
“It helped me on my feet so much,” May said. “A ton of my success this year is coming from that freestyle club.”
May has become more of a well-rounded wrestler, according to Briggs. May scored six takedowns in his opening match, tallying 14 points. He built a 9-2 lead, consisting of three takedowns and three nearfall points, before a third-period pin.
“Kelly is a power wrestler, and that’s how he came into our room,” Briggs said. “Now, he’s using some good technique in his arsenal. Now, with that power and technique it’s a nice mix.”
May’s pin against Xavier gave the J-Hawks a 12-6 lead and they never trailed again. Luke Sedlacek and Dalton Kuehl added falls for Jefferson at 160 and 195, sandwiching Josh and Drake Allen’s forfeits. Dale Deaton’s third-period fall at 220, gave Jefferson a 42-9 advantage.
The J-Hawks’ sixth-ranked Brenden Baker (106) won by fall. Cody Hensel (126) and Michael Moncivais opened the Xavier dual with decisions, helping Jefferson rebound from a lackluster performance against Wahlert.
Between duals, coaches encouraged a stronger effort from the J-Hawks.
“We wanted to step our performance, and we did,” Briggs said. “I thought we wrestled much better.
“I thought they responded nicely.”
Jefferson did win eight matches in the opener. Hensel and Drake Allen had pins against Wahlert. Sedlacek and Baker added major decisions.
Xavier (9-12, 3-4) lost to Wahlert, 36-25.
AT C.R. JEFFERSON
C.R. Jefferson 54, C.R. Xavier 9
126: Cody Hensel, CRJ, dec. Drew McGraw, XAVI, 10-4. 132: Michael Moncivais, CRJ, dec. Jerry Duball, XAVI, 11-10. 138: Nick Drahozal, XAVI, pinned Zach Kester, CRJ, 2:36. 145: Kelly May, CRJ, pinned Caleb Billick, XAVI, 0:48. 152: Kory Donithan, XAVI, dec. Nick Dreckman, CRJ, 5-4. 160: Luke Sedlacek, CRJ, pinned Ryan Persick, XAVI, 0:16. 170: Josh Allen, CRJ, forf. . 182: Drake Allen, CRJ, forf. . 195: Dalton Kuehl, CRJ, pinned Michael Maher, XAVI, 1:18. 220: Randy Deaton, CRJ, pinned Andrew Khairallah, XAVI, 4:57. 285: Cole Turner, XAVI, forf. . 106: Brenden Baker, CRJ, pinned Jeff Vipond, XAVI, 1:17. 113: Kyle Briggs, CRJ, forf. . 120: Clint Lembeck, XAVI, maj. dec. Patrick Rashed, CRJ, 13-3.
C.R. Jefferson 36, Dubuque Wahlert 24
120: Patrick Rashed, CRJ, dec. Matt Wigginton, WAHL, 6-4. 126: Cody Hensel, CRJ, pinned Jacob Lange, WAHL, 4:41. 132: Michael Moncivais, CRJ, forf. . 138: Myles Wernimont, WAHL, pinned Zach Kester, CRJ, 3:20. 145: Kelly May, CRJ, maj. dec. Colin Smith, WAHL, 14-4. 152: Riley Hasken, WAHL, dec. Nick Dreckman, CRJ, 6-0. 160: Luke Sedlacek, CRJ, maj. dec. Andrew Turner, WAHL, 10-1. 170: Weslee Haynes, WAHL, dec. Josh Allen, CRJ, 6-3. 182: Drake Allen, CRJ, pinned Chris Sullivan, WAHL, 2:51. 195: Ries Bohr, WAHL, dec. Dalton Kuehl, CRJ, 8-4. 220: Ryan Seaman, WAHL, dec. Randy Deaton, CRJ, 6-4. 285: Tanner Horchak, WAHL, forf. . 106: Brenden Baker, CRJ, maj. dec. Tristan Birt, WAHL, 14-5. 113: Kyle Briggs, CRJ, dec. Rees Hauder, WAHL, 6-1.
Dubuque Wahlert 36, C.R. Xavier 25
113: Rees Hauder, WAHL, forf. . 120: Clint Lembeck, XAVI, tech. fall Matt Wigginton, WAHL, 4:00 19-3. 126: Drew McGraw, XAVI, maj. dec. Jacob Lange, WAHL, 12-2. 132: double forfeit. 138: Jerry Duball (XAVI) sv-1 Myles Wernimont (WAHL) 6-4. 145: Nick Drahozal, XAVI, maj. dec. Colin Smith, WAHL, 10-0. 152: Riley Hasken, WAHL, pinned Caleb Billick, XAVI, 3:59. 160: Andrew Turner, WAHL, dec. Kory Donithan, XAVI, 2-0. 170: Weslee Haynes, WAHL, pinned Thomas Ickes, XAVI, 0:45. 182: Chris Sullivan, WAHL, forf. . 195: Ries Bohr, WAHL, pinned Michael Maher, XAVI, 0:44. 220: Andrew Khairallah, XAVI, dec. Ryan Seaman, WAHL, 3-1. 285: Gino Berutti, XAVI, forf. . 106: Tristan Birt, WAHL, dec. Jeff Vipond, XAVI, 4-2.